Legendary Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron Dies
By Movieguide® Staff
Legendary baseball star Hank Aaron died on January 22, 2021, at age 86.
“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank,” his longtime team, the Atlanta Braves, said in a statement. “He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature. Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world. His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts.”
According to WSBTV-2,
Aaron played 23 major league seasons and hit 755 home runs, the second most all-time. He debuted with the Braves as a 20-year-old in 1954 and spent the next 21 seasons in a Braves uniform. “Hammerin’ Hank,” who also had a record 20 seasons of 20 or more homers, homered off 310 different pitchers, including 13 fellow Hall-of-Famers. When he retired, he held major-league career records in extra-base hits (1,477), total bases (6,856) and RBI (2,297) – the latter two he still holds today.
He collected 3,000 hits, a milestone he would have still achieved without any home runs. Aaron finished his career with 3,771 hits, batting .305 and winning two batting titles. With his 3,000th hit on May 17, 1970, he was the first player in history to join the 3,000-hit, 500-home run club.
Aaron was named the National League MVP in 1957 and helped Milwaukee win the World Series that season, the franchise’s second of three World Series’ titles.
Aaron, who was an All-Star a record 25 times and won three Gold Gloves, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, falling nine votes shy of becoming the first unanimous inductee.
In addition to these accomplishments, Aaron was also a man of faith.
“I need to depend on Someone who is bigger, stronger and wiser than I am. I don’t do it on my own. God is my strength. He gave me a good body and some talent and the freedom to develop it. He helps me when things go wrong. He forgives me when I fall on my face. He lights the way,” Aaron told GuidePosts magazine ahead of breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record.
In that same interview, he honored the people who made sacrifices that enabled him to advance in Major League Baseball, including his father and Jackie Robinson, a fellow baseball player.
After his baseball career, Aaron founded the Chasing the Dream Foundation. He credits his mother’s biblical teaching as the root of his generosity.
“She always told me and taught me that no matter how much I succeed, or [how much] success that I have in life, there is somebody that needs help a little bit better than you do,” he said in June 2020. “She said to always remember that if you can reach back and help pull somebody else out of a hole, or help somebody get to the point where they can enjoy themselves, then you’ve done what the good Lord wants you to do, and that’s to help others.”
Furthermore, Aaron told USAToday that he wanted to be remembered as someone who could “forget about baseball but be able to help mankind.”
Aaron’s story was told in the documentary, HANK AARON: CHASING THE DREAM. He also had a few minor appearances in popular TV shows including TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL and HAPPY DAYS.
Fellow celebrities — including some prominent athletes — used social media to share their reflections on Aaron’s life.
View this post on Instagram
— Barry L Bonds (@BarryBonds) January 22, 2021
You were more than an athlete.
Your leadership transcended sports.
And we are grateful for your courage and commitment to the freedom struggle.
Rest in power, #HankAaron.
We are praying for the Aaron family. pic.twitter.com/cTjRBWMZZV
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center (@TheKingCenter) January 22, 2021
— Amaka Ubaka (@AmakaUbakaTV) January 22, 2021
We lost a great American Hero. Hank Aaron broke records and he broke barriers. He played the game with such a…
My condolences to the Aaron family… Hank Aaron was a 1st class athlete. He made people like myself want to be even better on and off the field and I thank him for that. 🙏🌹