Hank Aaron

Henry Louis Aaron
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1982
Primary team: Milwaukee Braves
Primary position: Right Fielder

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali once called Hank Aaron “The only man I idolize more than myself ” and in 1970, Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle said “As far as I’m concerned, Aaron is the best baseball player of my era. He is to baseball the last 15 years what Joe DiMaggio was before him. He’s never received the credit he’s due”.

Hank Aaron grew from humble beginnings in Mobile, Alabama, passed through the sandlots with brief stops in the negro leagues and the minor leagues before he settled in with the Braves where he ultimately became one of baseball’s most iconic figures. He was a consistent producer both at the plate and in the field, reaching the .300 mark in batting 14 times, 30 home runs 15 times, 90 RBI 16 times and captured three Gold Glove Awards en-route to 25 All-Star appearances. Phillies and Cardinals pitcher Curt Simmons said “Trying to sneak a pitch past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak a sunrise past a rooster.”

1957 was arguably Hank Aaron’s best season. He hit .322 that year with 44 home runs and 132 RBI, captured the National League MVP Award and led the Braves to their first World Series Championship since 1914.

Despite his consistent production, it wasn’t until 1973 that Aaron was thrust into the national spotlight as he neared the finish of a successful assault on one of sport’s most cherished records- Babe Ruth’s mark of 714 home runs. It was on April 8, 1974, that Hammerin’ Hank sent a 1-0 pitch from Dodgers hurler Al Downing into the leftfield bullpen. Aaron was recognized for thirty years as baseball’s all-time home run king until his record of 755 home runs was passed in 2007.

It was shortly after Hank Aaron’s record breaking 715th home run that Georgia congressman Andrew Young declared “Through his long career, Hank Aaron has been a model of humility, dignity, and quiet competence. He did not seek the adoration that is accorded to other national athletic heroes, yet he has now earned it”.

Hank Aaron’s humility and grace was never more evident than at his Hall of Fame induction speech in 1982, where he proclaimed “I never want them to forget Babe Ruth. I just want them to remember Henry Aaron”.

"Trying to throw a fastball by Henry Aaron is like trying to sneak a sunrise past a rooster. "
Curt Simmons

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1982
Primary Team: Milwaukee Braves
Position Played: Right Fielder
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Mobile, Alabama
Birth year: 1934
Played for:
Milwaukee Braves (1954-1965)
Atlanta Braves (1966-1974)
Milwaukee Brewers (1975-1976)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
3,298
At BatsAB
12,364
RunsR
2,174
HitsH
3,771
Doubles2B
624
Triples3B
98
Home RunsHR
755
RBIRBI
2,297
Stolen BasesSB
240
WalksBB
1402
Batting AverageBA
.305
OPSOPS
.928
On Base %OBP
.374
Slugging %SLG
.555