Major League Baseball Legend and Record Holder Hank Aaron Dies At 86

by Raheem Karim
Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron

Louis Requena/MLB via Getty Images, FILE
Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves poses for an portrait circa 1968.

Major League Baseball Record Holder Hank Aaron Dead At Age 86

Atlanta Brave icon and Major League Baseball record holder Hank Aaron died Friday at the age of 86, according to Aaron’s daughter. Also known as “Hammering Hank” broke the home run record on April 8, 1974 amid receiving death threats and racism.

Born in Mobile, Alabama, on Feb. 5, 1934, Henry Louis Aaron was one of eight children born to Herbert and Estella Aaron. Aaron grew up in a poor family. His family could not afford baseball equipment, so he practiced by hitting bottle caps with sticks. He would create his own bats and balls out of materials he found on the streets. His boyhood idol was baseball star Jackie Robinson.

In November 1951, at the age of 17, Aaron began his minor league career with the Indianapolis Clown’s of the Negro American League. The Milwaukee Braves purchased Aaron’s contract from the Clowns for $10,000. On March 13, 1954 Aaron made his Major League debut.

The Prime of His Career

Aaron hit .314 with 27 home runs and 106 RBI, in 1955. He was named to the NL All-Star roster for the first time; it was the first of a record 21 All-Star selections and first of a record 25 All-Star Game appearances. In 1956, Aaron hit .328 and captured the first of two NL batting titles. He was also named The Sporting News NL Player of the Year. In 1957, Aaron won his only NL MVP Award. He batted .322, placing third, and led the league in home runs and runs batted in.[9] On September 23, 1957 in Milwaukee, Aaron hit a two-run walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals, clinching the pennant for the Braves. After touching home plate he was carried off the field by his teammates. It was the only pennant-clinching walk-off home run in major league history in a non-playoff regular season game. Milwaukee went on to win the World Series against the New York Yankees, the defending champions, 4 games to 3.

In 1958, Aaron hit .326, with 30 home runs and 95 RBI. He led the Braves to another pennant, but this time they lost a seven-game World Series to the Yankees. Aaron finished third in the MVP race and he received his first of three Gold Glove Awards. During the next several years, Aaron had some of his best games and best seasons as a major league player. On June 21, 1959, against the San Francisco Giants, he hit three two-run home runs. It was the only time in his career that he hit three home runs in a game.

In 1963, he led the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBI and finished third in batting average. In that season, Aaron became the third player to steal 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in a single season. Despite that, he again finished third in the MVP voting. The Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta after the 1965 season. In 1968, Aaron was the first Atlanta Braves player to hit his 500th career home run, and in 1970, he was the first Atlanta Brave to reach 3,000 career hits.

Hank Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs .

After a 23-year career, Aaron retired in 1976 as Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in home runs. He remains the all-time leader in career RBIs, extra base hits and total bases.

Aaron also ranks in the top five in career hits, runs at bat and games played.

The Brewer’s retired Aaron’s No. 44 in 1976. The Braves retired his uniform in 1977.

Aaron was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Related Articles

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. You can find out more about the cookies we use. By continuing to use the website, you accept our use of cookies.AcceptRead More

Update Required Flash plugin