One of the greatest baseball players ever has passed away.
Hank Aaron, who reached the Baseball Hall of Fame after surpassing Babe Ruth‘s legendary home run record during an impeccable 23-year-career in the MLB, passed away on Friday. He was 86 years old.
No cause of death was given for the man fans called “Hammerin’ Hank,” in light of the record 755 career home runs he hit in more than two decades of professional baseball with the Milwaukee Braves and, later, the Atlanta Braves. His home run record was later surpassed in 2007 by Barry Bonds, with Aaron cheering him on the entire way.
Long considered one of the classiest men in baseball, Aaron endured unspeakable racism from white fans bitter with his stellar performance on the field, especially as he got closer to passing Ruth’s almighty home run record. He remained above it all throughout his career and his life, though, and his determination, talent, and class were later credited by then-President Bill Clinton while presenting Aaron with a Presidential Citizens Medal in 2001.
Aaron, who did a lot for the publicity of the game even after his career ended, made his last public appearance just three weeks ago when he received the COVID-19 vaccine. At the time, according to the Associated Press, he’d wanted to make a point of getting the vaccine to prove to Black Americans that it was safe.
According to a Braves spokesperson, Aaron died peacefully in his sleep.
Sending our love and support out to his family, friends, and loved ones. The world lost a good person today.
[Image via LK/WENN]