Black American Icons: Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron (1934-2021)

Hank Aaron is considered on the greatest baseball players of all-time.  Nicknamed “The Hammer”, he is known as the player that broke the “unbreakable” career home run record held by Babe Ruth.  Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Hank was one of seven siblings.  He began his career in the Negro League in Indianapolis before catching the eye of the Boston Braves, who signed him to a minor-league deal.  By age 20, Hank was playing in the Major League, and was one of the first five black players in baseball history.  Racism and prejudice did not stop him from excelling on the diamond.  He was a 25-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove Award winner, four-time National League home run champion and two-time National League batting champion.  He won the 1957 MVP Award after leading the Braves to the 1957 World Series championship.  In his historic career, he had 755 home runs, 2,297 RBIs, and 3,771 hits.  He retired from baseball in 1976, later taking on roles as an executive for the Braves.   On August 1, 1982, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Hank Aaron passed away this year at the age of 86, but his incredible career continues to inspire generations of players and fans, many of whom consider him the best that ever played the game.