Legendary Major League Baseball figure Henry Louis Aaron, also known as Hammerin’ Hank, has died at the age of 86.
Hank Aaron started his MLB career in 1954 with the Braves baseball team when they were located in Milwaukee. When the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, Hank went with them. With already a spectacular career to his credit, Hank cemented his place in Baseball history on April 8th, 1974, when in front of a record hometown crowd of 53,775 people, he broke Babe Ruth‘s career homerun record in the fourth inning with his own 715th dinger. The next season he was back in Milwaukee with the Brewers. Hank ended his baseball career after the 1976 season with a career total 755 homeruns. He was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1982, and his career homerun record stood until 2007, when it was broken by Barry Bonds.
Georgia native Trisha Yearwood posted her memories of Hank Aaron after learning of his passing…
“Our dad, Jack never missed watching an Atlanta Braves game. We were raised on baseball. I was 9 years old when Hammerin’ Hank hit 715 in Atlanta, surpassing Babe Ruth’s home-run record, and I remember cheering loudly with my family, watching that historical moment on tv (thank you Ted Turner and TBS!). When I was invited to sing the National Anthem in game 4 of the World Series in 2007, I took my young nephews with me and we all got to meet Hank. I became that 9 year old kid again, and Mr. Aaron couldn’t have been more gracious. Thank you for the memories, Hank. RIP and say hi to my dad.”
Tim McGraw also shared a tribute to Hank – relaying a story about his dad, Major League Baseball pitcher Tug McGraw, and what he said about facing Aaron during his career…
“We lost a great American Hero. Hank Aaron broke records and he broke barriers. He played the game with such a wonderful style and grace. And what a hitter, still holding records to this day! My dad, Tug McGraw, gave up 4 career home runs to Hammerin’ Hank! When asked how he would pitch him if the bases were loaded, Tugger said ‘I’d pitch just as I would to any other hitter, but I wouldn’t be damned fool enough to let go of the ball.’ God speed Hank.”
Headline Tim McGraw Photo Credit: Robby Klein
Headline Trisha Yearwood Photo Credit: Russ Harrington
Additional Images courtesy of Trisha Yearwood