Atlanta Braves legend and sports icon Hank Aaron, who once held the record for most career home runs, passed away at 86 on Friday.
Beloved by sports fans around the world, Aaron was revered as one of the best baseball players of all time. When he finished his career, he had 755 home runs under his belt, shattering Babe Ruth’s total of 714.
In 1974, Aaron hit his 715th home run at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Aaron held the title of the home run king until 2007 when Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run in 2007.
However, Aaron was much more than his home runs. His home run record was one of several MLB records during his time as a baseball player.
Currently, he holds the most RBIs (2,297), total bases (6,856), and extra-base hits (1,477) in the history of the MLB.
He also held a batting average of .305 and had 3,771 career hits, which ranks third behind Ty Cobb (4,189) and Pete Rose (4,256).
“When I was a young kid growing up in Mobile, Alabama, I chased a dream and found it and played baseball for 23 years,” Aaron said in an interview in 2017. “I see these young kids coming along now and they are chasing their dreams. It just so happens that their dream costs a little bit more than mine did. I’m hoping they catch it and that they’re able to do the things they want to do in life.”
Hank Aaron Beloved by Braves Fans Everywhere
Aaron remained loyal to the Atlanta Braves, spending nearly his entire professional career with the Braves organization. For two decades, he played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves from 1954-1974. Before retiring, he spent two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.
He was a vital asset to the Milwaukee Braves when they won the World Series in 1957, the same year he won his first and only MVP award.
Aaron was also a Gold Glove Award winner, a batting champion, and led the National League in home runs and RBIs.
In 1982, his success would culminate when he became inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
His No. 44 is retired at the Braves and Brewers home stadiums. In 1999, fans also handpicked Aaron to be a member of the exclusive Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Inside the hallowed Braves stadium and Truist Park, Aarons’ statue stands tall to honor his well-deserved legacy.
In addition, the MLB also has the Hank Aaron Award, which the organization awards to the top hitting player in the American and National League.