Baseball legend Hank Aaron dies at 86

ABC NEWS

Aaron had the second-highest number of home runs, 755, in MLB history.

Baseball icon and Hall of Famer Henry “Hank” Louis Aaron died Friday. He was 86.

“Mr. Aaron passed away peacefully in his sleep. The family asks for privacy at this time. The Braves will be releasing a statement shortly,” Aaron’s assistant said in a statement to ABC News.

Aaron led the league with a record 755 home runs in his illustrious career when he eclipsed Babe Ruth’s total in 1974. He held that record until 2007 when the number was surpassed by San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds.

He also holds records for most runs batted in, 2,297, total bases, 6,856, and extra-base hits, 1,477, according to ESPN.

Aaron’s legacy stretched far beyond fair territory on the field as he also led the way for other Black players in the sport.

Earlier this month, Aaron got vaccinated against COVID-19 in Georgia, in hopes that doing so would send a message to other Black Americans that the shots are safe, ESPN reported.

On May 17, 1970, Aaron became the ninth player in MLB history to add his name to the exclusive 3,000 hits club. The outfielder hit a single off a pitch from Cincinnati Reds pitcher Wayne Simpson at Crosley Field.

Aaron spent 21 seasons in the National League with Milwaukee from 1954 to 1965, then in Atlanta from 1966 to 1974, before finishing his 23-year career in Milwaukee with the Brewers until 1976.

Aaron “was an All-Star a record 25 times and won three Gold Gloves, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, falling nine votes shy of becoming the first unanimous inductee,” according to a Braves press release.

After retiring from the batters box, “The Home Run King” became the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves in 1976.

ABC News’ Courtney Condon contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply