Feature

Hank Aaron Tribute

Hank Aaron
Graphic by Amanda Bollig.

In honor of Black History Month, it’s important to discuss those who have made a major impact. On January 22, 2021, America lost a strong baseball player and influence. America lost Hank “Hammerin’ Hank” Louis Aaron at 86 years old from natural causes. 

Hank Aaron started his career off by playing for the Negro Leagues as well as the minor leagues. Eventually, he ended up on the Milwaukee Braves that later became the Atlanta Braves. This is where he spent most of his baseball career.  

According to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Aaron hit .322 and had 40 home runs in 1957. He also took the Atlanta Braves to their first World Series Championship for the first time in forty-three years. As a result, he won the National League MVP Award that year. 

Aaron didn’t stop there with his athletic accomplishments. His biggest achievement was beating Babe Ruth’s home run record of 714 home runs. On April 8th, 1974, Hank Aaron made it to 715 home runs. By the time he retired, he had racked up 755 home runs. He held the record until 2007 when Barry Bonds took over the record. 

Aaron decided to retire from the baseball field in 1976. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. In 2002, former President George W. Bush award Aaron with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

At the beginning of his career, he was targeted with hate mail and verbal abuse. All due to the color of his skin. Despite the attacks, he worked hard. He rose to the top with determination and perseverance. 

Image courtesy of Amanda Bollig

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