Sports world pays tribute to Hank Aaron
Major League Baseball lost yet another legend on Friday, as one-time home run king Hank Aaron has died at age 86. The news was felt all across the sports world.
Aaron was one of those rare legendary players who transcends sports. We were reminded of that with the tributes that poured in over social media. Many shared the famous clip from when Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974.
“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world.”
RIP Hank Aaron, a true legend and pioneerpic.twitter.com/7RJeZlalMS
— joon (@joonlee) January 22, 2021
Others shared their favorite Aaron memories and explained how he had a direct impact on their lives and careers.
A legend on and off the ball field… the best to ever do it… RIP Mr Hank Aaron #44 pic.twitter.com/3LH6iB9auV
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) January 22, 2021
Of all the #MLB Hall of Famers that I’ve interacted with, hands down, Hank Aaron displayed the most humility. The Home Run King & 25X All-Star once said, “I always sat breaking ball because there wasn’t any pitcher who could throw a fastball by me.” #RIPHammer pic.twitter.com/Zb6ui1xMqs
— Paul Byrd (@PaulByrd36) January 22, 2021
— Johnny Bench (@JohnnyBench_5) January 22, 2021
Henry “Hank” Aaron passed away at 86.
This hits hard. Great man. Strong man. Gentleman.
More than home run king.
He was so kind and so insightful.
Big @Browns fan. Told me a story more than 30 years ago about sitting in Dawg Pound with his mask
I loved him. #RIPHankAaron
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 22, 2021
When Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record on April 8, 1974, it was and remains one of the most iconic moments in sports history. No matter how many times I've seen it throughout my lifetime, I'd always stop and watch it again. That moment is immortalized at Truist Park. pic.twitter.com/LAJE6HPAoV
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) January 22, 2021
This was the only time I was in a room with Hank Aaron. I was so flabbergasted and speechless I’m surprised I was able to take the picture. A true American hero. RIP to the 🐐, and thank you. pic.twitter.com/AtS4wYHGrT
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) January 22, 2021
A couple of years ago, I was at the Hall of Fame for induction weekend. At one event, there was an empty seat next to me and someone asked if I'd mind if he sat there. I turned and saw it was … Hank Aaron. *Hank Aaron!*
We chatted for ~15 minutes. Wonderful man. Best day ever.
— RobBiertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) January 22, 2021
RIP Hank Aaron
When he chased Babe Ruth's record, he received over 3,000 letters per day. Most were racist hate mail.
He held on to them as he grew older.
"I read the letters because they remind me not to be surprised or hurt. They remind me what people are really like." pic.twitter.com/8DVPbOI4ee
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) January 22, 2021
My Dad took me to my first baseball game to make sure I saw Hank Aaron before he retired. I was so young I barely remember it except my Dad telling me over and over "there he is!" – Rest in Peace
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) January 22, 2021
RIP Hank Aaron. One of the most genuine, sincere people I have ever had the good fortune of meeting. A true gentleman.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 22, 2021
RIP Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron! Sad sad day. Thankful for your heroism! pic.twitter.com/oyfWfr0M80
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) January 22, 2021
We were also reminded of some amazing stats from Aaron’s Hall of Fame career.
You've probably seen it countless times by now, but it's one of my favorite facts, so I'll say it again today:
If you take away Hank Aaron's 755 home runs, he still has over 3,000 career hits. pic.twitter.com/VjxnK6okJo
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) January 22, 2021
Hank Aaron was an All-Star in *every* season from 1955-1975.
From Eisenhower to Ford.
His 21 All-Star seasons are a record, one ahead of Willie Mays and Stan Musial in second.
— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) January 22, 2021
As a 23-year-old in 1957, Hank Aaron hit 44 homers, won MVP, won the World Series
As a 39-year-old in 1973, he hit 40 HR with a 1.045 OPS
For that 17-year period, he averaged – averaged! – 38 homers with a .311/.382/.578 batting line and made the all-star team every single year
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 22, 2021
Rest in peace Hank Aaron. A true legend on and off the field. You need sunglasses to look at where he ranks in terms of stats. pic.twitter.com/gfoZpwagOg
— Daren Willman (@darenw) January 22, 2021
Hank Aaron has the stats and accolades, below, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. A monumental figure in the history of our sport & country — an incredible person.
Very sad news. RIP to a legend who had an impact on so many people's lives & meant so much to so many. pic.twitter.com/7xQscID6Uu
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) January 22, 2021
Many noted that they will always consider Aaron to be baseball’s real home run king, as the latter portion of Barry Bonds’ career was tarnished by allegations of PED use. Aaron openly advocated for harsh penalties for players who used PEDs. He was also very outspoken about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
Aaron remains MLB’s all-time leader in RBI (2,297), total bases (6,856) and extra-base hits (1,477).