(CBS Local)- The Atlanta Braves announced Friday morning that Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and former home run king Henry “Hank” Aaron passed away at the age of 86 years old. The baseball legend leaves behind one of the sport’s biggest legacies.
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Born in Mobile, Alabama in 1934, Aaron started his baseball career in the Negro Leagues in 1951, signing a contract with the Indianapolis Clowns. However, it didn’t take long before MLB clubs came calling, with the Boston Braves winning his services. Just three years later, in 1954, he made his debut with the then Milwaukee Braves at the age of 20 years old. He finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting that season after hitting .280 with 13 HR and 69 RBI across 122 games with the team.
He would go on to play another 22 seasons, all with the Braves, moving with the franchise from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. His consistent power, 20 seasons with 20 or more homers, 15 of 30 or more, led to his iconic moment on April 8, 1974 when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record with homer number 715. The legendary voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully was on the call.READ MORE: Third Stimulus Check: When Could You Get Another Economic Relief Payment?
All told, Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs and a still record 2,297 RBIs. He also racked up the most extra base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856) of any player in history.
Aaron was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982 receiving votes on 406/415 ballots (97% of the vote). After his career, he went on to serve as senior vice president and assistant to the Braves president. Aaron was an ambassador for the game and the Braves throughout his post playing career.
Georgia politicians remembered Aaron. Governor Brian Kemp said in a statement: “Our family is heartbroken to hear the news of Hank Aaron’s passing. Hank Aaron was an American icon and one of Georgia’s greatest legends. His life and career made history, and his influence was felt not only in the world of sports, but far beyond – through his important work to advance civil rights and create a more equal, just society. We ask all Georgians to join us in praying for his fans, family, and loved ones as we remember Hammerin’ Hank’s incredible legacy.”MORE NEWS: 8 Georgia Cities Among The Worst At Money Management
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also offered her condolences in a release: “Derek, our family and I join the nation in sending heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Billye Aaron, the beautiful wife of Henry “Hank” Aaron for nearly 50 years, and the entire family. This is a considerable loss for the entire city of Atlanta. While the world knew him as ‘Hammering Hank Aaron’ because of his incredible, record-setting baseball career, he was a cornerstone of our village, graciously and freely joining Mrs. Aaron in giving their presence and resources toward making our city a better place. As an adopted son of Atlanta, Mr. Aaron was part of the fabric that helped place Atlanta on the world stage. Our gratitude, thoughts and prayers are with the Aaron family.”