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Hank Aaron, Hall of Famer and an icon in Milwaukee and Atlanta, passes away at age 86

One of the greatest players to step on a baseball field

Hank Aaron

We here at BCB were saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who died today in his home in Atlanta at the age of 86. Aaron was quite simply one of the greatest hitters that ever lived.

He started his major league career in Milwaukee for the Braves in 1954. He finished that career in Milwaukee as a Brewer in 1976. Bud Selig put out the following per Will Sammon:

He will always be remembered as the man who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. For many, he will always remain the home run king. By the time he ended his playing career, Aaron had a career stat sheet that few could match. He still ranks first all-time in RBIs (2,297), second in home runs (755), third in hits (3,771), and fourth in runs (2,174). His career slash line was .305/.374/.555. Amazingly he won only one MVP award and one World Series title in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves. More amazingly he was named to 21 All-Star teams. A serious case could be made that Aaron was the greatest offensive player in MLB history. He accomplished all of this while facing a constant barrage of racism — including death threats — throughout his life and career.

Yet he was more than that as a human being according to those that knew him. According to Selig once again;

When you think back to what he accomplish on the field, he was an even greater man off it. He was the same nice, wonderfully decent human being that he was when I first met him in 1958.

His work and influence in Civil Rights and as a humanitarian and philanthropist are as legendary as his baseball accomplishments. For it he has been honored numerous times, including receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The NAACP Thurgood Marshall Life Time Achievement Award, and the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.

Not enough can be said about this fine human being. His impact on the baseball field as well as the world was immense. He will be missed by the world-over.

Unfortunately sending out condolences to loved ones is becoming way too common. Too many have left us over the past several months. I know the thoughts and prayers of the BCB writers and community are going out to the family and friends of Hank Aaron. Rest in peace.