By Corey Guy, Associate Sports Editor
MLB Hall of Famer Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron passed away at age 86. The former Most Valuable Player died Friday morning, announced by the Atlanta Braves organization. The news shocked the world of sports and those who followed his life.
The entire Morehouse College family mourns the transition of our hero, Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron (Hon. ‘09).
Mr. Aaron was a true hero on and off the field and an unprecedented humanitarian, whose generosity impacted countless lives of students everywhere. pic.twitter.com/wfOzhKHLty
— Morehouse College (@Morehouse) January 22, 2021
It is with great sadness we share the passing of our home run king, Hank Aaron. pic.twitter.com/ZdRuhqIaet
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 22, 2021
The Falcons and Atlanta United will retire the No. 44 for the 2021 seasons to honor the late Hank Aaron 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 22, 2021
The things Hank Aaron did on the baseball field, to say the least, were quite outstanding. Aaron is recognized, not only in baseball but, throughout sports as an extraordinary athlete. His 22-year career, spanning 1954-1976, was spent playing for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, where he gained a substantial number of achievements.
Aaron holds the major league records in RBIs (2,297), total bases hit (6,856), and extra-base hits (1,477). He batted an average of .300 or better 14 times in his career, achieved three Gold Glove awards, and was selected to 25 All-Star Games. Aaron helped the Milwaukee Braves defeat the New York Yankees in the World Series, hitting an amazing .322 batting average in 1957, the same year he captured his Most Valuable Player Award.
However, his most shining achievement would come later in 1974. On April 8, Hammerin’ Hank hit his 715-career home run, tying the lionized Babe Ruth. He would hit 755 career home runs by the end of his career, a then MLB record until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007 (762).
Aaron’s impact reaches farther than the baseball fields. In a time where African Americans were blatantly disenfranchised in the sports world, he propelled over the racism. Idolizing those who came before, like Jackie Robinson, Aaron envisioned a better life for all. His profoundness and boldness throughout the civil rights movements will be remembered forever.
His philanthropy and kindness have touched countless lives, specifically in the communities in which he played Milwaukee and Atlanta. In 2002, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Geoge W. Bush. His continual pursuit of success and battle against injustice should be seen as an inspiration. He will live on as an example to all sports figures fighting for something bigger than themselves and the sports they play.