He was 86 years old. In 1955 Central High School and Dunbar Jr. High School switched locations; Central High closed in 1970 following desegregation. Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who battled racial prejudice and hatred on his way to breaking the major leagues' career home run record, has died at the age of 86, the Atlanta . Aaron would finish the season in Atlanta, go back to Milwaukee for two seasons as the Brewers' DH and end his career with 755 home runs. [100] He and several other African American public figures, including activist Joe Beasley, Andrew Young, and Louis Sullivan, did so to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine and encourage other black Americans to do the same. [11] Aaron did his part by hitting .393 with three homers and seven RBIs. Another fun one: Aaron started this season at 713 and the Braves opened the season on the road. Bonds surpassed Aaron in 2007 with his 756th home run. A few weeks later, his three home runs in the World Series helped his team triumph over the heavily favored New York Yankees. On June 21, 1959, against the San Francisco Giants, he hit three two-run home runs. By the end of the season, he had performed so well that the league made him the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year. Aaron broke Ruths record on April 8, 1974 at Atlantas Fulton County Stadium against Al Downing and the Dodgers. On January 5, 2021, Aaron publicly received a COVID-19 vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine[99] at the Morehouse School of Medicine at Atlanta, Georgia. [139], He was named a 2010 Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with the Governor of Georgia, to recognize accomplishments and community service that reflect the ideals of the founding body of Trustees, which governed the Georgia colony from 1732 to 1752. Although he batted cross-handed (as a right-handed hitter, with his left hand above his right), Aaron established himself as a power hitter. Henry Aaron is coming around third. Aaron showed awesome skill when, unaided by pharmaceuticals, he broke Babe Ruths seemingly unbreakable record. Many current or former athletes and team owners such as MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Magic Johnson, David Ortiz, Dusty Baker, Eduardo Prez, Mike Trout, and Baseball Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark paid tribute to him. Aaron attended the dedication. Aaron had not played well at second base, but Owen noted that Aaron could catch fly balls and throw them well from the outfield to the infield. 4/4/74: On Opening Day, Hank Aaron hits his 714th Major League home run, tying Babe Ruth for most home runs in Major League historyCheck out http://MLB.com/v. There's a new home run champion of all time, and it's Henry Aaron! While the world knew him as Hammering Hank Aaron because of his incredible, record-setting baseball career, he was a cornerstone of our village, graciously and freely joining Mrs. Aaron in giving their presence and resources toward making our city a better place. While he considered retirement, he said that he was willing to return to baseball for another year. Eric Robert Rudolph was born read more. The high-profile incident drew worldwide attention to the problem of piracy, commonly believed to be a thing of read more, On April 8, 1990, 18-year-old Ryan White dies of pneumonia, due to having contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion. [86] After Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run on August 7, 2007, Aaron made a surprise appearance on the JumboTron video screen at AT&T Park in San Francisco to congratulate Bonds on his accomplishment: I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds on becoming baseball's career home run leader. He played two out of three and tied Babe Ruth's record on April 4, 1974, in his very first at-bat on his first swing of the seasonoff Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but did not hit another home run in the series.[66]. On April 15, Aaron collected his first major league hit, a double off Cardinals' pitcher Vic Raschi. [57] Aaron finished the season with 673 career home runs. That's the only thing that kept Willie Mays and me from being teammates fifty dollars.[24]. Aaron was the first player to reach both Hall-worthy batting thresholds of 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Aaron would hit 44 home runs in four different seasons,[40] and he hit his record-breaking 715th career home run off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing, who coincidentally also wore number 44. 02-05-1934 | Aaron is born on a Monday in Mobile, Alabama. Research is still ongoing and we'll continue to publish updates as more information becomes available. On May 17, Aaron collected his 3,000th hit, in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, the team against which he played in his first major-league game. He also enjoyed cooking and fishing. The 20 home runs Aaron hit in 1974 were the third-most ever by a player 40 or older. During the 1936 season, Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees terrorized the Cleveland Indians by slamming fourteen home runs against the club a Major League record for most home runs against the same team in a season. He had been given six months to live in December of 1984 but defied expectations and lived for five more years, during which time his story helped educate the read more, On April 8, 1993, the space shuttle Discovery lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center. Lucy says in the August 11 strip, "Hank Aaron is a great player but you! During the strike-shortened season of 1972, Aaron tied and then surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list. All that hatred left a deep scar on me. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is the only player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. [72] He had also said that he would be interested in serving as a team's general manager, someone who would make decisions and not a house boy. Aaron was on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service. [36], The stint in Puerto Rico also allowed Aaron to avoid being drafted into military service. [33] The Braves' manager, Ben Geraghty, tried his best to help Aaron on and off the field. Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, the Baseball Hall of Famer who broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record in the face of racism and went on to become a revered ambassador to the game, has died. [11] During his minor league experience, he was very homesick and faced constant racism, but his brother, Herbert Jr., told him not to give up the opportunity. Hank Aaron Timeline. Aaron went on to play through the end of the 1976 season, finishing with 755 career home runs, 3,771 hits and 2,297 RBI. That same year, baseball fans named Aaron to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta after the 1965 season. Henry Louis Aaron (February 5, 1934 - January 22, 2021), nicknamed "Hammer" or "Hammerin' Hank", was an American professional baseball right fielder who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1954 through 1976. His closest competition is Hank Aaron who "only" hit home runs in every possible ballpark during nine seasons! Statistic Description: Home Runs Hit/Allowed. [79][80] Over the course of his record-breaking 23-year career, Aaron had a batting average of .305 and 163 hits a season, while averaging just over 32 home runs and 99 RBIs a year. Even if the five Negro League home runs do get added eventually, Aaron would still be two short of Barry Bonds's 762 homers. [89], Despite being publicly and professionally known as "Hank," Aaron preferred to go by his given name, "Henry. [8] In 1999, The Sporting News ranked Aaron fifth on its list of the "100 Greatest Baseball Players". In most circumstances, the team was responsible for arranging housing and meals for its players, but Aaron often had to make his own arrangements. He appeared briefly in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career. He again finished third in National League MVP voting. Actor: MacGyver. Coincidentally, Snoopy was only one home run short of tying the record (and finished the season as such when Charlie Brown got picked off during Snoopy's last at-bat), and as it turned out, Aaron finished the 1973 season one home run short of Ruth. In the joy of the moment, the months of threats and insults were forgotten. The moment became an iconic one, with the indelible image of Hank Aaron rounding the bases, being joined by two fans between second and third, and then mobbed by his teammates and family at home plate, after breaking Babe Ruths home run record in 1974. Hank Aaron was a tremendous ambassador for baseball, and we can think of one way baseball can honor him in death. [26], The Braves purchased Aaron's contract from the Clowns for $10,000,[27] which GM John Quinn thought was a steal, as he stated that he felt that Aaron was a $100,000 property. Hank, the superstar outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, was approaching what was then considered the greatest record in sports: the career home-run record of 714, held by the legendary. Years later, Aaron remembered: I had the Giants' contract in my hand. This is wrong. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historical achievement. After the game, Aaron said his only fear was that he might not live to see the 1974 season. On April 8, 1989, California Angels rookie pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand, makes his Major League Baseball debut in a 7-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners. 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. [35] In 1958, Aaron's wife noted that during the off-season he liked "to sit and watch those shooting westerns". We've received your submission. In a later interview with Atlanta sportscasting personality Chris Dimino, Aaron made it clear his reluctance to attend any celebration of a new home run record was based upon his personal conviction that baseball is not about breaking records, but simply playing to the best of one's potential. Where Hank Aaron does stand out is in the total number of hits. He started play as a 6ft (180cm), 180lb (82kg) shortstop,[22] and earned $200 per month. At the end of the season, Aaron, who had a prior relationship with Brewers owner Bud Selig, requested a trade to Milwaukee. A seven-time NL MVP, the 43-year-old Bonds hit his 22nd home run of the year. [58], Aaron himself downplayed the "chase" to surpass Babe Ruth, while baseball enthusiasts and the national media grew increasingly excited as he closed in on the 714 career home runs record. A crowd of 53,775 people, the largest in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, was with Aaron that night to cheer when he hit a 4th inning pitch off the Los Angeles Dodgers Al Downing. This is a considerable loss for the entire city of Atlanta. However, some observers looked back on Aaron's personal history, pointing out that he had downplayed his own breaking of Babe Ruth's all-time record and suggesting Aaron was simply treating Bonds in a similar fashion. In November 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Governor Roosevelt of New York was elected the 32nd president of the United read more, Jomo Kenyatta, leader of the Kenyan independence movement, is convicted by Kenyas British rulers of leading the extremist Mau Mau in their violence against white settlers and the colonial government. [138] Statues of Aaron stand outside the front entrance of both Turner Field and American Family Field. She curbed the power of Britains labor read more, On April 8, 1935, Congress votes to approve the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a central part of President Franklin D. Roosevelts New Deal. He keeps that mail as a reminder. Braves management wanted him to break the record in Atlanta and was therefore going to have Aaron sit out the first three games of the season. [37] On April 13, Aaron made his major league debut and was hitless in five at-bats against the Cincinnati Reds' left-hander Joe Nuxhall. His teammates are at home plate. While he was born in a section of Mobile referred to as "Down the Bay", he spent most of his youth in Toulminville. Atlanta Braves' Hank Aaron (44) breaks Babe Ruth's record for career home runs as he hits his 715th off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing in the fourth inning of the game opener at Atlanta . [150], In 2022, a recording of the WSB broadcast of the April 8, 1974, BravesDodgers game in which Aaron hit his 715th home run was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry. He didnt know what he was taking, he testified, and thought it was all natural. [50] 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. Obituary: Hank Aaron, baseball great who became voice for civil rights, dies at 86 Photos: The life and . Aaron got his start playing for. I had nowhere to go except home and to the ballpark, home and to the ballpark. [118], In 1982, Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility. On April 4, Opening Day, a 39-year-old Aaron sent the very first pitch he saw over the wall,. Instead of congratulations, Aaron received mounds of vile, racist and threatening hate mail which helped to ultimately make Aaron a bitter man. [9] In 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. [133], On January 8, 2001, Aaron was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton. [35] In 1958, Aaron hit .326, with 30 home runs and 95 RBIs. [114], The Atlanta Braves honored Hank Aaron during the 2021 season by including his jersey number 44 on the back of the team caps along with Phil Niekro's jersey number, 35 (who died one month earlier in December 2020). [44], Sal Maglie recommended throwing low curveballs to Aaron. Playing off the intense interest in their perceived rivalry, Aaron and Bonds made a television commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLI, shortly before the start of the 2007 baseball season, in which Aaron jokingly tried to persuade Bonds to retire before breaking the record. 4/8/74: Vin Scully calls Hank Aaron's milestone home run as he passes Babe Ruth for the most career home runs when he slugs his 715th homerCheck out http://m. Aaron's pursuit of Ruth's ultimate home run record was one of the top sports stories of the 1970s and generated intense media coverage. Nearly 28 years earlier, the read more, Pirates had not captured a ship sailing under the American flag since the 1820s until April 8, 2009, when the MV Maersk Alabama was hijacked off the coast of Somalia. By the time Aaron retired, he and his brother held the record for most career home runs by a pair of siblings (768). Im proud of the home run record, but I dont talk about it because it brings back too many unpleasant memories.. But it was Hammerin' Hank's sweet home run swing for which he was best known. In spite of all of the things that I went through Ive always been able to separate the two, Aaron said in a 2014 interview with CNN. [93], In an interview in 1991, Aaron credited the priest, Fr. [41], At this point, Aaron was known to family and friends primarily as "Henry". The manner of death was listed as natural causes. [152][153], MLB held two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962. Baseball's all-time home run king, Hank Aaron did more than hit home runs. [121] In 1988, Aaron was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame for his time spent on the Eau Claire Bears, Milwaukee Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers. [85][non-primary source needed] As Bonds began to close in on the record during the 2007 season, Aaron let it be known that, although he recognized Bonds' achievements, he would not be present when Bonds broke the record. [94][96], Aaron was a long-time fan of the Cleveland Browns, having attended many games in disguise in their "Dawg Pound" seating section.[97]. [11] Although Dodgers outfielder Bill Buckner nearly went over the outfield fence trying to catch it, the ball flew into the Braves' bullpen, where relief pitcher Tom House caught it. "[31] Aaron's time with the Braves did not come without problems. "He's going to swing and he'll go after almost anything," Maglie said of the Braves' slugger. Yankees outfielder growing golf profile alongside Tiger Wo Daniel Jones needs to see big picture in Giants negotiations, Red-hot Jon Rahm no match for wind-swept Bay Hill: 'F--king hard', The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, The Show with Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman, Amazin' But True: A NY Mets Baseball Podcast, Gangs All Here: A NY Jets Football Podcast, Kellyanne Conway and George Conway to divorce, Canadian teacher with size-Z prosthetic breasts placed on paid leave. Serving from 1979 to 1990, Thatcher was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. He had finished 1973 with 713 career home runs, one shy of the all-time record set by Babe Ruth. But in his final game that year, playing against the Houston Astros (managed by Leo Durocher, who had once roomed with Babe Ruth), he was unable to achieve this. [125] Georgia State University acquired Turner Field and has since rebuilt it as Center Parc Stadium, in 2017, and university officials plan to build a new baseball park on the former AtlantaFulton County Stadium site, incorporating the left field wall where Aaron hit his record-breaking home run. MLB, give him back his home run record. [46][47] In 1956, Aaron hit .328 and captured the first of two NL batting titles. He then changed his number to 44, which would turn out to look like a "lucky number" for the slugger. By Alyse Shorland, CNN (CNN) - The night of April 8, 1974, Braves outfielder Hank Aaron hit home-run number 715, broke the record held by the legendary Babe Ruth and became, at that time, the home-run leader in baseball. 755", "Bonds Hits No. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Ken Severson [100][101], Aaron died in his sleep in his Atlanta residence on January 22, 2021 at the age of 86. He hit home run number 713 on September 29, 1973, and with one day remaining in the season, many expected him to tie the record. Hank Aaron's most notable achievement was breaking the career home run record set by Babe Ruth. Aaron Judge broke the A.L. In April 1997, a new baseball facility for the AA Mobile Bay Bears constructed in Aaron's hometown of Mobile, Alabama was named Hank Aaron Stadium.