ATLANTA – As SunTrust Park prepares to open its doors to the public, the Atlanta Braves celebrated the legacy of a baseball icon. On Wednesday, the team unveiled a new statue honoring Hank Aaron during a ceremony in the Monument Garden of the ballpark. It is the centerpiece of the area, which contains memorabilia and exhibits to honor members of both the National Baseball and team hall of fame.
Atlanta-based artist Ross Rossin was tasked with creating the statue that commemorates the tremendous achievement of one of the greatest players in the history of the game. At nine feet tall, the sculpture captures the moment Aaron’s bat made contact for his 715th home run on April 8, 1974, the night he surpassed Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record.
“It’s beautiful,” said Aaron of the newly minted statue. “I don’t think I could have added anything to it. [Ross] did a marvelous job with it, captured every diagram and did everything right.”
Aaron, who turned 83 in February, was originally signed by the Boston Braves in 1952 and went on to play 21 seasons with the franchise in Milwaukee and Atlanta. After setting a new all-time home run record with Atlanta in 1974, Aaron played two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before retiring in 1976. He finished his career with a record 755 home runs and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982. That record stood until Barry Bonds surpassed the mark in 2007.