Hall of Fame to Dedicate New Hank Aaron Statue

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Fifty years ago, a nation cheered as Hank Aaron broke baseball’s most cherished record.

As the world remembers that historic moment, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will ensure that Aaron’s lifetime of heroics on and off the field is celebrated for all time.

During today’s opening events for More Than Brave: The Life of Henry Aaron, a new exhibit at the Atlanta History Center, Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark announced that a Hank Aaron statue will be unveiled at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on May 23. The bronze representation of Aaron will be installed on the first floor of the Museum.

“The legacy of Hank Aaron has always been about so much more than just his incredible baseball achievements,” Clark said. “His philanthropic vision, his support of youth empowerment efforts and his pioneering work as an executive have opened the doors of opportunity for millions throughout the United States and around the world. We are extremely privileged to care for and preserve his entire personal collection in Cooperstown, and this statue will stand forever as a tribute to an American hero.”

Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982 following a 23-year big league career with the Braves and Brewers, Aaron launched his 715th career home run on April 8, 1974, to surpass Babe Ruth atop Major League Baseball’s home run list. A 25-time All-Star, Aaron still holds the record for most career RBI and total bases.

Remarkably, if each of his 755 career home runs were erased from his playing record, Aaron will still have totaled more than 3,000 hits.

Aaron’s Hall of Fame plaque made a rare appearance outside of the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery when it traveled to Atlanta for today’s event. Aaron’s plaque will also be featured at Truist Park today for fans to view at this evening’s Braves game.

The statue of Aaron was created by nationally renowned sculptor Will Behrends, who also designed the bronze likeness of Buck O'Neil on the Museum's first floor. Made possible through a gift of Hall of Fame supporters Jane and Bob Crotty and with the guidance and support of Aaron’s widow, Billye, the new statue will debut as part of the Hall of Fame Classic celebration during Memorial Day Weekend. The May 25 legends game will feature more than two dozen former big leaguers at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field.

“Henry would be as pleased and excited as I am to have his statue placed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,” Billye Aaron said. “His life and legacy reflected his high hopes and big dreams. Both inspired and propelled him to incredible accomplishments in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He wanted to be an inspiration to young boys and girls everywhere. My heartfelt thanks to Jane Forbes Clark, and the Board of Directors, for this very fitting tribute to Henry and the sport he loved so dearly. I am profoundly grateful. My hope is that this recognition will serve as an inspiration to visitors to Cooperstown for generations to come.”

In 2009, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum dedicated Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream, a third-floor exhibit that tells the story of a player who helped knock down the walls of segregation while thrilling generations of fans with his unrelenting consistency and class. The exhibit features dozens of artifacts, including bats and balls from record-setting hits, his locker and the uniform shirt, pants, cap and helmet worn while he hit the record-breaking 715th homer.

In 2010, Aaron pledged his entire personal collection to the Museum – and many artifacts are now on loan, including to the Atlanta History Center’s new exhibit and the Atlanta Braves.

A dozen Hall of Famers whose careers cover the pre-expansion era to the present day will return to Cooperstown May 23-26 to celebrate the history of Black baseball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s groundbreaking new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.