Hall of Famer and one-time home run king Atlanta Braves legend Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron passed away Friday, January 22, at the age of 86 leaving behind an indelible legacy on and off the baseball diamond.
One of eight children, Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 5, 1934, the son of Herbert and Estell Aaron. He played in sandlots during his youth and started his pro career in the Negro Leagues in 1951.
Aaron made his way through the minor leagues and was 20 years old when he started his Major League debut with the then-Milwaukee Braves. Aaron played for the Braves in Milwaukee and Atlanta from 1954-1974 and finished his career back in Milwaukee with the Brewers in 1976 and 1976.
Aaron won the Home Run King of major league baseball in 1974 on April 8, when he hit his 715th home run, to break the record of Babe Ruth. He held that title for 33 years when on August 4, 2007, Barry Bonds hit his 756th to break Aaron’s record. Bond’s still holds the record with 762. Babe Ruth is the only other major leaguer with over 700 with 714.
Along with his 755 career home runs, Aaron remains baseball’s runs batted in leader with 2,297 and total base leader with 6,856. His extra base hits of 1,477 is still a record also.
He also had 3, 771 hits and a lifetime batting average of .305. He was also selected 25 times for the All-Star team and played in 24 games, both records. He was easily elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1982.
Henry Louis Aaron is survived his wife, Billye; two sons, Lary and Henry Jr., and two daughters, Dorinda and Gaile, all of whom he had with his first wife, Barbara (the marriage ended in divorce); and his daughter Ceci, from Billye Aaron’s first marriage.