Rest In peace, Hank Aaron

The *true* home run king has passed at the age of 86.

Not much has emerged regarding the nature of his death, but we do know that the long time Braves legend and Hall of Famer died this morning.

Overcoming racism and death threats as he approached Babe Ruth’s long standing home run record, Aaron became the home run king on April 8, 1974 with his 715th moonshot. He eventually retired in 1976 having hit 755 – a record that stood until Barry Bonds hit his 756th in 2007. Most still consider Aaron to be the true champion, as Barry Bonds cheated his way to the record.

Among Mr. Aaron’s many achievements:

  • First year Hall of Fame entry with 97.8% of the vote (WHO were the assholes that didn’t vote for him?)
  • TWENTY FIVE All Star Game appearances – wait. He only played 23 seasons, how is this possible? <checks notes> Oh yes, from 1959 to 1962, there were two All-Star Games each season.
  • 1957 MVP
  • 2 time NL batting champion (1956, 1959)
  • Holds the all time RBI record with 2,297. Next on the list is Babe Ruth with 2,214, and then Albert Pujols – the only active player in the top 20 (top 23 actually) with 2,100
  • 3 time Gold Glove winner (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 3,771 hits – 3rd behind Ty Cobb and Pete Rose. Again, Pujols is the only other player in the top 20 on the all time list. Actually even in the top 40. Have we seen our last 3,000 hit player? That’s a discussion for another day.
  • President George W. Bush awarded Aaron the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 for his philanthropy and humanitarian endeavors
  • in 2005, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund awarded him the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award

Hammerin’ Hank was not only a force on the field, he was also a civil rights pioneer. Learn more about the life of this legend: here, here, and here.

Rest in peace and power, Mr. Aaron.

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