Hank Aaron Passed Away
Hank Aaron passed away on Friday. (Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

Hank Aaron passed away today at the age of 86. Hank’s legacy is that of one of the game’s all-time great players. The one-time home run king of baseball started his baseball career in the Negro Leagues in 1951, he then went through the minor league system until he was 20 years old.

Hank Aaron the GOAT

Hank still sits at number two on MLB’s all-time homerun’s list behind Barry Bonds. Hitting 755 homers in his day was incredible and speaks to not only his ability but longevity as a baseball player. He played for 23 years in the big leagues and never missed more than a few games throughout the year, except his final season. However, posting a 143.1 WAR and a batting average of .305 is just incredible considering how long he played for.

Hank started his career with the then called Milwaukee Braves and won MVP, World Series MVP, and the World Series in 1957. Hank broke Babe Ruth’s hallowed record of 714 home runs, which was thought to be unreachable. However, he held the all-time record for quite sometime before it was broken by Bonds. On the field, Hank Aaron was a man amongst boys.

Hank Aaron Left a Legacy Off The Field As Well

However, off the field, he was an avid civil rights activist. Growing up in Mobile, Alabama he wasn’t allowed on his high school team because he was black. Frequently a victim of racial discrimination, Hank fought for what was right. Showing up all the white kids on the diamond made it clear that he belonged.

After his playing career, Hank joined the Braves as an executive and hoped that more black players could find that type of work after their playing days were over. Hank continued to fight for his rights and ultimately was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Hank Aaron left an amazing legacy within the game of baseball and extended that legacy past just being a player. Hank was no doubt one of the game’s best and will surely be missed by all baseball fans.