Hank Aaron, the legendary Home Run king and Atlanta Braves great, passed away today. He was 86 years old.
Aaron is best known for being the man to break Babe Ruth’s home run record. He passed Ruth on April 8, 1974, with his 715th career home run, and finished with 755 for his career. It stood until Barry Bonds hit his 756th home on August 7, 2007, though many still consider Aaron the true home run king given the widespread steroid allegations against Bonds.
Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, receiving over 97-percent of the vote. He was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in its first year in 1999, alongside Warren Spahn, Phil Niekro, and Eddie Matthews.
“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank,” the Atlanta Braves said in a statement put out shortly after news broke of his death. “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.”
It is with great sadness we share the passing of our home run king, Hank Aaron. pic.twitter.com/ZdRuhqIaet
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 22, 2021
“Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world,” the statement continues. “His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts.
“We are heartbroken and thinking of his wife Billye and their children Gaile, Hank, Jr., Larry, Dorinda and Ceci and his grandchildren.”
2020 was a particularly tough year for baseball greats, with legendary players like Lou Brock, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline, Don Larsen, Joe Morgan, Phil Niekro, and Tom Seaver all passing away. Sadly, in the first few weeks of 2021, one of the most legendary players in the game’s long history has joined them.