He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. Braves announcer Milo Hamilton, calling the game on WSB radio, described the scene as Aaron broke the record: Henry Aaron, in the second inning walked and scored. [46][47] In 1956, Aaron hit .328 and captured the first of two NL batting titles. Aaron eventually scored 2,174 runs, the exact same number as Ruth. [55] As the year came to a close, Aaron broke Stan Musial's major-league record for total bases (6,134),[56] the record he was the most proud of since it reflected his overall performance as a hitter and team player. The Atlanta Braves great, who smashed Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, died Jan. 22. "Maybe I was unnerved by all the attention," read more, On April 8, 1975, against the New York Yankees in Cleveland, the Indians' Frank Robinson becomes the first African American to manage a game in Major League Baseball. For three decades the baseball player Hank Aaron, who has died aged 86, held the record for hitting more home runs - 755 - than anyone in major league history, and will be remembered in. Aaron was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1982, and now works in the front office for the Atlanta Braves. The Braves were able to speak to the draft board, making the case that Aaron could be the player to integrate the Southern Association the following season with the Atlanta Crackers. Another fun one: Aaron started this season at 713 and the Braves opened the season on the road. [11] The 1952 season proved to be very beneficial for Aaron. Aaron was 34 years, five months, and nine days old. If dogs had eaten off those plates, they'd have washed them. On June 21, 1959, against the San Francisco Giants, he hit three two-run home runs. Aaron helped lead the Clowns to victory in the 1952 Negro League World Series. [94][96], Aaron was a long-time fan of the Cleveland Browns, having attended many games in disguise in their "Dawg Pound" seating section.[97]. During his time in Major League Baseball, and especially during his run for the home run record, Aaron and his family endured extensive racist threats. Here's how Duane Kuiper called the historic moment: Before Bonds, Aaron had held the record since April 8, 1974, when he hit his. Cobains suicide brought an end to a life marked by far more read more, Who killed Laura Palmer? was the question on everyones mind on the night of April 8, 1990, when David Lynchs surreal television drama Twin Peaks premiered on ABC. On December 15, 1957, his wife Barbara gave birth to twins. [136], In 2002, Aaron was honored with the "Lombardi Award of Excellence" from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. [42], Considerably later in his career, Aaron coined "Stone-fingers", which would prove a popular handle for one of baseball's more colorful characters, the famously distance-hitting but defensively challenged first baseman Dick Stuart,[43] reportedly "delight[ing]" even its recipient. Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom, dies in London at age 87 from a stroke on April 8, 2013. [11] On September 23, 1957, in Milwaukee, Aaron hit a two-run walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals, clinching the pennant for the Braves. [31] He was the corporate vice president of community relations for Turner Broadcasting System, a member of the company's board of directors, and the vice president of business development for The Airport Network. But it was Hammerin' Hank's sweet home run swing for which he was best known. She curbed the power of Britains labor read more, On April 8, 1935, Congress votes to approve the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a central part of President Franklin D. Roosevelts New Deal. Aaron played the vast majority of his MLB games in right field, though he appeared at several other infield and outfield positions. [93], In an interview in 1991, Aaron credited the priest, Fr. Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home run record eleven years ago By Jordan Shusterman August 7, 2018 On August 7, 2007, Barry Bonds punctuated his gradual, if inevitable climb to the top of the all-time home run list with an iconic blast to center field at AT&T Park for career home run No. Bonds surpassed Aaron in 2007 with his 756th home run. [75] He was acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers for Dave May thirty-one days later on November 2. [126], He was honored before the third game of 2021 World Series. to 483 B.C. [129] Later that year, he ranked fifth on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players,[130] and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. ", "There was a big catch holding on to No. There's a drive into left-center field. His closest competition is Hank Aaron who "only" hit home runs in every possible ballpark during nine seasons! Aaron suffered from arthritis and had a partial hip replacement after a fall in 2014. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron And for the first time in a long time, that poker face in Aaron shows the tremendous strain and relief of what it must have been like to live with for the past several months. [148], Atlanta-area sports teams planned to honor Aaron during the 2021 seasons. Every home run Hank Aaron hit over the course of his big league career appears below in chronological order, along with the date of the home run, his age at the time he homered, the pitcher who surrendered the home run, the inning (Inn), his batting order position (BOP) in the lineup, and where he was playing that day (Pos). Actually, the Buddhist tradition that celebrates his birthday on April 8 originally placed his birth in the 11th read more, On April 8, 1944, Russian forces led by Marshal Fyodor Tolbukhin attack the German army in an attempt to win back Crimea, in the southern Ukraine, occupied by the Axis power. [77] The trade re-united Aaron with former teammate Del Crandall, who was now managing the Brewers. [4] By his final MLB season, Aaron was the last former Negro league baseball player on a major league roster. [52] Aaron was, at the time, the second-youngest player to reach the milestone. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Thanks for contacting us. Aaron was born and raised in and around Mobile, Alabama. "[143][144], In January 2016, Aaron received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette from Akihito, the Emperor of Japan. Free shipping for many products! Aaron was known to frequently read Thomas Kempis' 15th-century book The Imitation of Christ, which he kept in his locker. (The NBA's Atlanta Hawks had previously retired No. At the end of the 1969 season, Aaron again finished third in the MVP voting. At the time of his retirement, Aaron held most of the game's key career power-hitting records. Of a time his team was in Washington, D.C. Aaron recalled: We had breakfast while we were waiting for the rain to stop, and I can still envision sitting with the Clowns in a restaurant behind Griffith Stadium and hearing them break all the plates in the kitchen after we finished eating. All Rights Reserved. There's a new home run champion of all time, and it's Henry Aaron! Lewis Grizzard, then-executive sports editor of The Atlanta Journal, reported receiving numerous phone calls calling journalists "nigger lovers" for covering Aaron's chase. When Aaron traveled around Jacksonville, Florida, and the surrounding areas, he was often separated from his team because of Jim Crow laws. He also enjoyed cooking and fishing. He later cited his anti-abortion and anti-homosexual views as motivation for the bombings. Aaron grew up in a poor family. The stadium's street number is 755, after Aaron's total number of home runs; the 755 street number was retained for Turner Field's replacement, Truist Park. Until then, Aaron had hit most pitches to left field or center field, but after working with Owen, Aaron was able to hit the ball more effectively all over the field. During the 1936 season, Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees terrorized the Cleveland Indians by slamming fourteen home runs against the club a Major League record for most home runs against the same team in a season. He added 22 more in 1975 and 1976, finally calling it a career with 755 career home runs. And Aaron showed grace and humility when he congratulated Bonds for beating his mark, though it was clear to everyone that it was tainted. [102][103][104], His funeral was held on January 27, followed by his burial at South-View Cemetery. On April 8, 1989, California Angels rookie pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand, makes his Major League Baseball debut in a 7-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners. ", "Sporting News' 100 Greatest Baseball Players", "Aaron to throw out first pitch at All-Star Game", "President Bush Announces the Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom", "About Carson Park: Eau Claire, Wisconsin", "Aaron receives honorary degree from Princeton", "Portrait of Nation Prize Winner: Hank Aaron", "National Portrait Gallery Honors Aretha Franklin, Carolina Herrera, Hank Aaron", "Hank Aaron presented with Order of the Rising Sun", "Hank Aaron throws out 1st pitch at SunTrust Park", "MLB renames developmental program after Hank Aaron", "Georgia Tech football to retire Hank Aaron's number 44 for 2021 season", "Hank Aaron replaces Confederate general in school name", "National Recording Registry Inducts Music from Alicia Keys, Ricky Martin, Journey and More in 2022", "Sports stars of Alabama: Where are they now? MLB, give him back his home run record. Aaron had seven siblings, including Tommie Aaron, who played major-league baseball with him. And for the first time in a long time, that poker face of Aarons shows the tremendous strain and relief of what it must have been like to live with for the past several months.. [94], Sablica also encouraged him to "attend Mass every Sunday" during Spring Training, to which he responded with the racist realities of the day: "[In Bradenton], they won't let me go to Mass. Although he batted cross-handed (as a right-handed hitter, with his left hand above his right), Aaron established himself as a power hitter. He had been given six months to live in December of 1984 but defied expectations and lived for five more years, during which time his story helped educate the read more, On April 8, 1993, the space shuttle Discovery lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center. In November 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Governor Roosevelt of New York was elected the 32nd president of the United read more, Jomo Kenyatta, leader of the Kenyan independence movement, is convicted by Kenyas British rulers of leading the extremist Mau Mau in their violence against white settlers and the colonial government. Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. home run record and Gerrit Cole broke the Yankees' single-season strikeouts record. Now the Dunbar Creative and Performing Arts Magnet School, 500 St. Anthony St., Mobile. [64] Babe Ruth's widow, Claire Hodgson, denounced the racism and declared that her husband would have enthusiastically cheered Aaron's attempt at the record. [79][80] Over the course of his record-breaking 23-year career, Aaron had a batting average of .305 and 163 hits a season, while averaging just over 32 home runs and 99 RBIs a year. It was the only inside-the-park home run of his career. [63], At the end of the 1973 season, Aaron received a plaque from the U.S. Although he was on the roster of its farm club, Milwaukee manager Charley Grimm later stated, "From the start, he did so well I knew we were going to have to carry him. He was named a 2010 Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society in recognition of accomplishments that reflect the ideals of Georgia's founders. 756 to Break Aaron's Record", "Midsummer Classics: Celebrating MLB's All-Star Game", "Hank Aaron praises Barry Bonds for home run record", "Craig Sager's backstory more colorful than his clothes", "Police recover both of Hank Aaron's stolen cars after Atlanta home burglarized", "Milo Hamilton made Hank Aaron's homer itself star of No. The fireworks are going. Number six-hundred forty-nine (649) was hit on June 10, 1972 and it is significant because it passed Willie Mays and made Hank Aaron the all-time home run leader in the National League. Playing off the intense interest in their perceived rivalry, Aaron and Bonds made a television commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLI, shortly before the start of the 2007 baseball season, in which Aaron jokingly tried to persuade Bonds to retire before breaking the record. [85][non-primary source needed] As Bonds began to close in on the record during the 2007 season, Aaron let it be known that, although he recognized Bonds' achievements, he would not be present when Bonds broke the record. And listen to this crowd![69]. The game was also broadcast nationally on NBC. He led the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBIs and finished third in batting average. He started play as a 6ft (180cm), 180lb (82kg) shortstop,[22] and earned $200 per month. Additionally, Aaron owned a chain of 30 restaurants around the country. The moment became an iconic one, with the indelible image of Hank Aaron rounding the bases, being joined by two fans between second and third, and then mobbed by his teammates and family at home plate, after breaking Babe Ruths home run record in 1974. As Aaron hammered closer to Ruth's 714 home runs, he . [152][153], MLB held two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962. (Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) Aaron hit 40 home runs in the 1973 season, bringing his career total to 713, one run short of the record. Sports Illustrated pointedly summarized the racist vitriol that Aaron was forced to endure: Is this to be the year in which Aaron, at the age of thirty-nine, takes a moon walk above one of the most hallowed individual records in American sport? Considered one of the greatest baseball players in history, he spent 21 seasons with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL) and two seasons with the . He again finished third in National League MVP voting. On July 13, Aaron hit a home run in the All-Star Game (played at Detroit's Tiger Stadium) for the first time. The next day, Aaron made his first spring training start for the Braves major league team, playing in left field and hitting a home run. In the joy of the moment, the months of threats and insults were forgotten. Voters have kept Bonds out of the Baseball Hall of Fame over this scandal, but somehow he retains his home-run record. On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruths legendary record of 714 homers. With his second wife, he had one child, Ceci. Aaron would hit 44 home runs in four different seasons,[40] and he hit his record-breaking 715th career home run off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing, who coincidentally also wore number 44. [3] Aaron's ability as a hitter can be illustrated by his still having over 3,000 hits even without counting any of his home runs. [119], Aaron was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 1976, from the NAACP. His teammates are at home plate. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is the only player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historical achievement. Obituary: Hank Aaron, baseball great who became voice for civil rights, dies at 86 Photos: The life and . His debut generates a buzz throughout the sports world. [35] Two days later, one of the children died. In 1974, Hank Aaron surpassed that mark, and then held the milestone for 33 years. 4/4/74: On Opening Day, Hank Aaron hits his 714th Major League home run, tying Babe Ruth for most home runs in Major League historyCheck out http://MLB.com/v. [124], When the city of Atlanta was converting Centennial Olympic Stadium into a new baseball stadium, many local residents hoped the stadium would be named for Aaron. "[23] On March 13, 1954, Milwaukee Braves left fielder Bobby Thomson fractured his ankle while sliding into second base during a spring training game. In a statement, the Braves said Aaron died peacefully. That's the only thing that kept Willie Mays and me from being teammates fifty dollars.[24]. Former Braves minor league player and sportswriter Pat Jordan said, "Aaron gave [Geraghty] much of the credit for his own swift rise to stardom. [128] The award honors the best overall offensive performer in the American and National League. Aaron had not played well at second base, but Owen noted that Aaron could catch fly balls and throw them well from the outfield to the infield. 02-05-1934 | Aaron is born on a Monday in Mobile, Alabama. [14] His boyhood idol was baseball star Jackie Robinson. [9] In 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. In most circumstances, the team was responsible for arranging housing and meals for its players, but Aaron often had to make his own arrangements. He appeared briefly in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career. Hank has 3,771 hits and even at the end of 1973 season (his 20th season) he still had 3,509 hits before breaking Babe Ruth's home run record in 1974. Braves management wanted Hank to break the record in Atlanta and so they planned to sit him out that first series. Aaronhung up his cleats in 1976 with 755 career home runsa record that stood until 2007, when it was broken by controversial slugger Barry Bonds(Bonds admitted to using steroids in 2011). According to the Hall of Fame 's stats keepers, Aaron leads both leagues in all-time ribbies, with 2.297 runs batted in during his storied career. Mickey Owen, the team's manager, helped Aaron with his batting stance. Aaron would finish the season in Atlanta, go back to Milwaukee for two seasons as the Brewers' DH and end his career with 755 home runs.