86 Facts About Hank Aaron


At the time of his retirement, Aaron held most of the game's key career power-hitting records.

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Hank Aaron broke the long-standing MLB record for home runs held by Babe Ruth and remained the career leader for 33 years.

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Hank Aaron hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973 and is one of only two players to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times.

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Hank Aaron holds the MLB records for the most career runs batted in, extra base hits, and total bases.

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Hank Aaron is third all-time for career hits and fifth in runs scored.

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Hank Aaron is one of only four players to have at least 17 seasons with 150 or more hits.

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Hank Aaron was a three-time Gold Glove winner, and in 1957, he won the NL Most Valuable Player Award when the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series.

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Hank Aaron played the vast majority of his MLB games in right field, though he appeared at several other infield and outfield positions.

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Hank Aaron was born and raised in and around Mobile, Alabama.

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Hank Aaron had seven siblings, including Tommie Hank Aaron, who played major-league baseball with him.

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Hank Aaron appeared briefly in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career.

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Hank Aaron's experiences fueled his activism during the civil rights movement.

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In 1988, Hank Aaron was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Hank Aaron was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

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Hank Aaron was named a 2010 Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society in recognition of accomplishments that reflect the ideals of Georgia's founders.

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Hank Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama, to Herbert Hank Aaron Sr.

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Hank Aaron would create his own bats and balls out of materials he found on the streets.

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Hank Aaron attended Central High School as a freshman and a sophomore.

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Braves purchased Hank Aaron's contract from the Clowns for $10,000, which GM John Quinn thought was a steal, as he stated that he felt that Hank Aaron was a $100,000 property.

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Hank Aaron broke his habit of hitting cross-handed and adopted the standard hitting technique.

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Hank Aaron was one of the first African Americans to play in the league.

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When Hank Aaron traveled around Jacksonville, Florida, and the surrounding areas, he was often separated from his team because of Jim Crow laws.

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In 1958, Hank Aaron's wife noted that during the offseason he liked "to sit and watch those shooting westerns".

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Until then, Hank Aaron had hit most pitches to left field or center field, but after working with Owen, Hank Aaron was able to hit the ball more effectively all over the field.

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Hank Aaron had not played well at second base, but Owen noted that Hank Aaron could catch fly balls and throw them well from the outfield to the infield.

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The Braves were able to speak to the draft board, making the case that Hank Aaron could be the player to integrate the Southern Association the following season with the Atlanta Crackers.

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In 1954, Hank Aaron attended spring training with the major league club.

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The next day, Hank Aaron made his first spring training start for the Braves major league team, playing in left field and hitting a home run.

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Hank Aaron then changed his number to 44, which would turn out to look like a "lucky number" for the slugger.

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Hank Aaron would hit 44 home runs in four different seasons, and he hit his record-breaking 715th career home run off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing, who coincidentally wore number 44.

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At this point, Hank Aaron was known to family and friends primarily as "Henry".

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Hank Aaron was named to the NL All-Star roster for the first time; it was the first of a record 21 All-Star selections and first of a record 25 All-Star Game appearances.

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In 1957, Hank Aaron won his only NL MVP Award, as he had his first brush with the triple crown.

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On September 23,1957, in Milwaukee, Hank Aaron hit a two-run walk-off home run against the St Louis Cardinals, clinching the pennant for the Braves.

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Hank Aaron led the Braves to another pennant, but this time they lost a seven-game World Series to the Yankees.

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Hank Aaron finished third in the MVP race and he received his first of three Gold Glove Awards.

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Hank Aaron led the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBIs and finished third in batting average.

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In that season, Hank Aaron became the third player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season, and the first player to record 40 home runs and 30 steals in a season.

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Hank Aaron again finished third in National League MVP voting.

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In 1968, Hank Aaron was the first Atlanta Braves player to hit his 500th career home run, and in 1970, he was the first Atlanta Brave to reach 3,000 career hits.

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Hank Aaron was, at the time, the second-youngest player to reach the milestone.

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On July 31,1969, Hank Aaron hit his 537th home run, passing Mickey Mantle's total; this moved Hank Aaron into third place on the career home run list, after Willie Mays and Babe Ruth.

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Hank Aaron established the record for most seasons with thirty or more home runs in the National League.

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Hank Aaron drove in the 2,000th run of his career and hit a home run in the first All-Star game played in Atlanta.

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Hank Aaron himself downplayed the "chase" to surpass Babe Ruth, while baseball enthusiasts and the national media grew increasingly excited as he closed in on the 714 career home runs record.

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Hank Aaron received thousands of letters every week during the summer of 1973, including hate mail; the Braves ended up hiring a secretary to help him sort through it.

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Hank Aaron hit 40 home runs in 392 at-bats, ending the 1973 season one home run short of the record.

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Hank Aaron hit home run number 713 on September 29,1973, and with one day remaining in the season, many expected him to tie the record.

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Hank Aaron received an outpouring of public support in response to the bigotry.

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Hank Aaron played two out of three and tied Babe Ruth's record on April 4,1974, in his very first at-bat on his first swing of the season—off Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but did not hit another home run in the series.

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On October 2,1974, Hank Aaron hit his 733rd home run in his last at-bat as a Braves player.

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Hank Aaron commented after the game that it was his last time as a player in Atlanta as his contract had expired.

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Hank Aaron had said that he would be interested in serving as a team's general manager, someone who would make decisions and not a “house boy”.

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Hank Aaron signed a two-year contract with the Brewers for $240,000 per year.

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On May 1,1975, Hank Aaron broke baseball's all-time RBI record, previously held by Ruth with 2,213.

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Hank Aaron had 100+ RBIs in a season 15 times, including a record of 13 in a row.

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Hank Aaron was then named the Braves' vice president and director of player development.

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In December 1980, Hank Aaron became senior vice president and assistant to the Braves' president.

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Hank Aaron 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.

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In that announcement, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Hank Aaron would be playing a major role in the management of the Braves, forming programs through major league baseball that will encourage the influx of minorities into baseball.

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Hank Aaron sold all but the Toyota dealership in McDonough in 2007.

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Additionally, Hank Aaron owned a chain of 30 restaurants around the country.

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On January 5,2021, Hank Aaron publicly received a COVID-19 vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Morehouse School of Medicine at Atlanta, Georgia.

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Fans paid tribute to Hank Aaron by placing flowers in front of the home run wall where he hit his 715th home run at the former site of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and in front of his statue at Truist Park.

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US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Hank Aaron by releasing a statement calling him "an American hero".

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Hank Aaron received tributes from former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama.

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Hank Aaron divorced Barbara in 1971 and married Billye Suber Williams on November 13,1973.

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Hank Aaron was Catholic, having converted in 1959 with his family.

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Hank Aaron was known to frequently read Thomas a Kempis' 15th-century book The Imitation of Christ, which he kept in his locker.

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Hank Aaron was a long-time fan of the Cleveland Browns, having attended many games in disguise in their "Dawg Pound" seating section.

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Hank Aaron suffered from arthritis and had a partial hip replacement after a fall in 2014.

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In 1982, Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility.

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Hank Aaron was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 1976, from the NAACP.

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In 1977, Hank Aaron received the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.

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In 1988, Hank Aaron was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame for his time spent on the Eau Claire Bears, Milwaukee Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers.

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Hank Aaron was honored before the third game of 2021 World Series.

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In July 2000 and again in July 2002, Hank Aaron threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, played at Turner Field and Miller Park now named American Family Field, respectively.

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On January 8,2001, Hank Aaron was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton.

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Hank Aaron received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President George W Bush in June 2002.

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Hank Aaron was on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

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In 2002, Hank Aaron was honored with the "Lombardi Award of Excellence" from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.

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Aaron dedicated the new exhibit "Hank Aaron-Chasing the Dream" at the Baseball Hall of Fame on April 25,2009.

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Statues of Hank Aaron stand outside the front entrance of both Turner Field and American Family Field.

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Hank Aaron was named a 2010 Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with the Governor of Georgia, to recognize accomplishments and community service that reflect the ideals of the founding body of Trustees, which governed the Georgia colony from 1732 to 1752.

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In January 2016, Hank Aaron received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette from Akihito, the Emperor of Japan.

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In 2022, a recording of the WSB broadcast of the April 8,1974 Braves-Dodgers game in which Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

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