Hank Aaron, one of the greatest players in Major League history and the first man to break Babe Ruth’s career home-run record of 714, has passed away:
Aaron played for the Braves in Milwaukee and Atlanta from 1954-74 and finished his career back in Milwaukee with the Brewers in 1975 and 1976.
A solidly consistent player for more than two decades, Aaron made All-Star teams for 21 consecutive years, won an MVP award in 1957 and was part of two Braves World Series teams in 1957 and 1958. While he never hit 50 home runs in a season, he hit 40 or more eight times and broke Ruth’s home-run record in April 1974:
Aaron still holds the MLB career records for RBI (2,297) and total bases (6,856) and many still consider him the all-time home run king because though his total of 755 home runs was surpassed by Barry Bonds (762), some feel Bonds’ total is tainted by PED use.
Here’s a piece of video I don’t think I had seen before, a clip of Aaron’s 725th career home run, hit at Wrigley Field off the Cubs’ Rick Reuschel, July 7, 1974:
That was the last of 50 career homers Aaron hit at Wrigley, which is the second-most by any Cubs opponent (Willie Mays hit 54).
Aaron was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982 and spent much of his post-playing career as a Braves executive, including:
Many baseball stars will take a ceremonial role with a club after they retire, or a high-profile one (MLB manager). Hank Aaron became the Braves farm director. He took on a lower-profile role, but one that made him one of the highest-ranking Black front office officials in MLB.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) January 22, 2021
Always classy, he was a respected teammate, opponent and human being. You can read much more about Aaron’s career and life in this SABR biography, which was last updated in 2014.
We have lost so many Hall of Famers in recent months, seven in all in 2020 and Tommy Lasorda and Don Sutton earlier this month.
Sincere condolences to Aaron’s friends, family and many fans throughout the baseball community. He had a brother, Tommie Aaron, who also played briefly in the major leagues. Tommie Aaron passed away in 1986.