Aaron, Henry Louis (Hank)

Aaron, Henry Louis (Hank) (1934- ), African American baseball player, whose 755 career home runs broke the all-time record previously held by Babe Ruth.

The third of eight children, Henry Louis Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama, to Estella and Herbert Aaron. His first experience with professional baseball came in the Negro Leagues, as he moved up through the ranks with the Pritchett Athletics, the Mobile Black Bears, and the Indianapolis Clowns. In 1952 Aaron got his first opportunity to play in the newly integrated major leagues as a shortstop with the Milwaukee Braves' farm system. Moving from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to Jacksonville, Florida, Aaron made it to the major leagues in 1954, playing for the Milwaukee Braves (now the Atlanta Braves).

Aaron is considered by some the best baseball player in history. Over his 23-year major league career, Aaron compiled more batting records than any other player in baseball history. He holds the record for runs batted in (RBIs) with 2,297, and was a Gold Glove Winner in 1958, 1959, and 1960. Aaron's most acclaimed accomplishment came on April 8, 1974. At the age of 40, he hit a 385-foot home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers, thus surpassing Babe Ruth's record of 714 career home runs. He ended his career with 755 home runs.

After retiring, Aaron returned to the Atlanta Braves as a vice-president for player development. In 1989 he was promoted to senior vice-president. Aaron also served as corporate vice president of community relations for Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. (TBS) and as a member of the Sterling Committee of Morehouse College. He also founded the Hank Aaron Rookie League program. In 1982 Aaron was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

Contributed By:
Alonford James Robinson