“Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron Dead at 86

One of the most beloved players of all time, and one of the few with a legit case for best player ever, Henry Aaron, passed away in his sleep last night. At this point, reports are light on details, but they are sure to follow.

For myself, this is another emotional moment as another of my boyhood fandom idols has passed. In what seems an unbelievable streak, he’s now the 10th Hall of Famer to die in just the past 12 months.

Aaron played 21 years for the Braves, both in Milwaukee and Atlanta. His final two seasons were back in Milwaukee with the Brewers in 1975 and 1976. Before he joined the Braves, he also played in the Negro Leagues (recently MLB acknowledged the Negro Leagues as major leagues, through 1948–Aaron’s time there was after that). After his playing career he was a fixture as part of the Braves organization essentially for the rest of his life.

Every baseball fan knows he hit 755 homers. He also holds the records for most extra base hits and most RBI. He is one of the few with over 4,000 hits as a professional ball player.

6 thoughts on ““Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron Dead at 86

      1. I was only 5 when he did it, so I really grew up knowing him as the king. Maybe that’s why I never felt as connected to Ruth — and am still bitter about Barry. Hammerin’ Hank was the man in our family. He was a real hero to me. Of course, living in Oklahoma, i could only see him play sometimes on TV as a kid. He was legend before I really got into baseball.

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        1. As most who read my posts/comments know, I don’t get too wrapped around the axle over pre-2004 PED use. However, I’d be lying if I said I was happy about Bonds surpassing Aaron’s homer mark. I personally disliked Bonds. Aaron himself handled it with a lot more dignity and grace than I felt I might have.

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  1. Growing up in an American League city and not following baseball until the early 70s, I didn’t see him play much but I clearly remember HR 715. I also remember begging my dad to take me to a game in 1975 when the Brewers came to Detroit so I could see him play. A great man who led a great life. We were blessed to have him as long as we did. Thank you Mr. Aaron.

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  2. One of the icons of my youth. I remember how he was revered while he was still playing, not only for his talents but as an example and mentor to others. I also remember the racism that followed him around as he approached the home run record. Even those who spoke for him flashed more than a little condescension toward a black man and the record. One could have understood if he had carried a little anger.

    But he didn’t. Requiescat en Pace, Hank. One of the very best ever.

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