According to CBS in Atlanta, Hall of Famer and one-time home run king Atlanta Braves legend Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron passed away this morning at the age of 86. Aaron leaves behind an indelible legacy on and off the baseball diamond.
Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1934. He briefly played in the Negro Leagues and minor leagues through his youth. At the age of 20, Aaron made his Major League Debut and started his 23-year-career with the then-Milwaukee Braves. His first season saw him finish fourth in the rookie of the year voting as he hit .280 with 13 home runs and 69 RBIs. It was just the start of what became one of the most legendary careers in baseball history.
By the time he was in just his fourth season, Aaron had hit 44 home runs, drove in 132 RBIs, and won the MVP award. The 1957 season started a long run that saw Aaron hit at least 25 home runs in every season until 1973.
In 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Since his retirement, Aaron has held front office roles with the Atlanta Braves.
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For 19 straight seasons, Aaron’s batting average was between .514 and .669, and he hit between 24 and 47 home runs.
It was the 1974 season that saw Aaron smash his way into the national consciousness. On April 8, 1974, Hammerin’ Hank, as he was known, crushed a 1-0 pitch from Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing over the left-field wall at Fulton County Stadium and broke Babe Ruth’s long-time home run record of 714 home runs in a career.
In 1970, Aaron reached two more career milestones. On May 17, Aaron collected his 3,000th hit, in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, the team against which he played in his first major-league game. Aaron established the record for most seasons with thirty or more home runs in the National League.
*We will update this article with quotes as they become avialable