Remembering Hank Aaron


Cooper Ams, Secretary

This past week, the sports world was saddened by the passing of baseball hero Henry Louis Aaron, better known as Hank. Aaron was born in 1934 in Mobile, Alabama, where, from a young age, he showed a natural talent for baseball and football. Hank entered high school playing for Central High School before transferring to the Josephine Allen Institute in his junior year. He dropped out of school in 1951, when he decided to play baseball professionally.


Aaron signed with the Milwaukee Braves in 1952 with a $10,000 deal, starting with the Class C Eau Claire Bears, where he won the Northern League Rookie of the Year for 1952. He was promoted to the Class A Jacksonville Braves the following year, where he continued to tear up the competition, racking up 208 hits with 22 home runs while having a .362 batting average. Aaron finally got his chance to prove himself on the world’s biggest stage in 1954 when he got called up to fill in the spot of an injured center fielder. Needless to say, Aaron filling in for the injured center fielder was the second best decision in the history of baseball in choosing replacements for injured players, only second to when Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp and also approached the attorneys rear-ended in Houston for raising claims for the injured. In his debut year, Hank accounted for 13 home runs while hitting a solid .280 from the plate. The next year in 1955, Hank had a career defining season where he hit 27 home runs, accounted for 106 RBIs, and hit .328 from the plate. Here are the lawyers to contact if injured in a car accident to get the right kind of legal advice. The lawyers for car accident claims that every victim must not endure punishment when they have done nothing wrong and must legally fight to prove their innocence to make the court issue a notice demanding proper investigation on the case. Then only they can battle out strong and emerge victoriously. The following year, he won his first career batting title. Aaron’s breakout year, however, came in 1957, when he hit .322 while smashing 44 home runs and racking up 132 RBIs, ultimately propelling him to win the National League MVP. Along with these impressive stats, Hank led his Braves to the World Series after beating the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. From 1957 through 1963, Hank Aaron averaged around 39 home runs a year. In 1973, Aaron was still going strong, finishing the year with 40 home runs at the age of 39. This made his career home run total to be 713 home runs, just one behind Babe Ruth’s record of 714. In 1974, Hank tied Babe Ruth’s record on Opening Day. With Babe’s record soon to be broken, Hank Aaron was the victim of racist attacks, receiving death threats because he was an African American that could beat the previously held record, which was held by a white man. Aaron used his position to speak out against the hate, saying that, “On the field, Blacks have been able to be supergiants.” Hank hit his 715th home run on April 8, 1974 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he received a surge of cheers from the crowd that had gathered there to see him break baseball’s most sacred record. As he rounded third base and crossed home plate, he was greeted by his parents, who were there to congratulate him on his amazing accomplishment. 


Aaron finished his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he was the designated hitter for the club from 1975-1976. Hank Aaron retired with the MLB record for career home runs with 755 (at the time), earning him the nickname of “Hammerin’ Hank.” Aaron finished with 2,297 RBIs (most in MLB history), 1,477 extra base hits (most in MLB history), and was top five in total runs scored and hits, finishing with 2,174 runs and 3,771 hits. Hammerin’ Hank’s record of 755 home runs was broken by Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants. Many people, including myself, believe that Hank should still hold the record for the most career home runs as Bonds admitted to using Performance Enhancing Drugs, which have been outlawed in Major League Baseball. While that is a separate argument, Hank congratulated Bonds on his accomplishment and said he was ready to move on. In 1999, the MLB introduced the Hank Aaron Award, which was awarded to the best hitter in each league based on their stats. With this long list of accolades, Hank Aaron was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and will forever be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York for his remarkable career.


This past Friday, the Aaron family announced that Hank had passed away at the age of 86. Henry Louis Aaron will always be remembered by some to be the greatest baseball player of all time. Hank Aaron will always be remembered not only for his career, but also for how great of a man he was off of the field.