[Ed. – 755, departing. A man of grace, faith, and class, above and beyond his remarkable accomplishments in baseball. No one was better suited to surpass Babe Ruth’s longstanding homerun record. R.I.P.]
Aaron established himself as an inner-circle all-time great during the course of his 23-year career with the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers from 1954-76.
In said career, Aaron hit .305/.374/.555 (155 OPS+) with 624 doubles, 755 home runs, 2,297 RBI, 2,174 runs, 3,771 hits and 240 stolen bases. He retired as the all-time home run leader and held the record for decades. He’s still the all-time leader in RBI and total bases. He also holds the record for the most All-Star games at 25 and the most seasons as an All-Star at 21 (for a stretch, MLB held two All-Star games per year).
Aaron was born and raised in conditions bordering on poverty in Alabama and was expected to take part in making the family money from a young age, picking cotton among other jobs. His family couldn’t afford to get him baseball equipment, so he learned how to hit with a broomstick and bottle caps. …
In addition to all his baseball accolades, Aaron was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton in 2001 and the President Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2002. Aaron now has an award named for him, as the Hank Aaron Award is given to the best hitter in each league, each season by Major League Baseball.