Hall of Famer and longtime home run king Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron died Friday morning, his daughter confirmed to WSB-TV in Atlanta. The Atlanta Braves legend was 86.
Aaron, a 25-time All-Star, played in MLB from 1954-76 almost entirely with the Braves organization first in Milwaukee and then in Atlanta. In 1957 he led the organization to their first World Series pennant since 1914. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
Aaron famously passed Babe Ruth on the all-time home run leaderboard in 1974 with his 715th shot. He finished his career with 755. It stood for 31 years until Barry Bonds passed him in 2014 and eventually set the mark at 762.
The slugger is still the game’s all-time leader in RBI (2,297) and total bases (6,856). He ranks third in career hits (3,771). The outfielder won three Gold Gloves as well as the National League batting titles in 1956 and 1959, the 1957 NL MVP award and the 1970 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award for character.
Here’s Vin Scully calling Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. RIP Hank. pic.twitter.com/B53KqcvVs4
— Chad (@ChadBlue83) January 22, 2021
Six Hall of Famers enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, died in 2020. The Hall had not lost that many players since seven died in 1972. Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton died Monday at the age of 75.
Aaron, who was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1934, overcame racism in the deep south and received death threats while pursuing Babe Ruth’s record.
He remained a role model up until his death. Earlier this month he joined civil rights leaders in getting the COVID-19 vaccine to show Black Americans getting vaccinated is safe.