Let’s Thank Hank Aaron for What He Did for Baseball

For much of his life, Hank Aaron faced blatant racism, yet made history in the baseball world.

The renowned MLB player, Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron passed away on January 2021 at the age of 86. But he left a legacy behind him which can never be forgotten. He was a man of sheer determination, confidence, and bravery.

At the peak of unconcealed racist remarks and death threats, any other baseball player will keep their bat down. But Hank Aaron was a man of steel! Instead of laying low, he smashed the ball and became home run king.

A man of grace and uncommon decency, Hank Aaron was the man who completely changed the world of baseball. Apart from his accolades, awards, and trophies, it was the humanity that sets him apart.

Throughout his career, Aaron had a dignified career, with 0% scandals and rumors. Today, let’s celebrate his life, contribution to MLB history and thank him for what he did.

The Illustrious Career

Henry “Hank” Aaron was nicknamed “Hammer” and “Hammerin’ Hank” due to his exceptional gameplay. He was a power hitter and famous for being truthful to his game. He started his career in Boston Braves and retired from Boston Brewers. Throughout his career, Aaron was committed to his game and nothing else. He stayed out of controversies.

After four decades, Hank Aaron broke the home run record of 714 made by Babe Ruth. When he smashed his 715th home run, the whole media went against him. Before the match, even Henry Aaron was enduring racism as Babe Ruth was a white man.

So, a black guy breaking the record of a white man was something like a sin. The moment the record was broken, Aaron received death threats mails. This did affect him but he continued playing the natural game.

With a batting average of .305, Henry Aaron made 755 home runs. 3,771 hits and 2,297 RBIs, along with 6,856 career total bases, and 1,477 career extra total bases. What a dignified record! He remained a part of All-Star 25 times, received 3 Gold Glove Awards, and was part of the Braves Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Presidential Citizens Medal, and has Hank Aaron award in his name.

In 1966, a magazine named “Sports Illustrated” published an article regarding him. They called it “Danger with a Double-A”. The writer applauded Henry Aaron to keep terrorizing his rivals in the field, and earning the nickname “Bad Henry”. No matter what came in his life, Aaron kept swinging his bat and kept scoring. Nothing stopped him, not even the death threats.

A True Side of Hope

The true meaning of decency defines the personality of Hank Aaron. He possessed an uncommon form of decorousness, which isn’t seen much today. Being a towards Earth person, he never thought of himself as some hero. Nor never thought people will remember him. It was because he had a life without flaws, misdeeds, and scandals. And people with such history are remembered more, either in a good way or a bad.

Hank Aaron was a man of wisdom, love, respect for all, and appreciation for fellow people. He had no jail arrests, no allegations for substance usage never had any disgraceful event, nor had any mistress. He lived a plain and truthful life, not found much among the stars.

He became a beacon of hope for all the black Africans in America. After retiring from baseball, Aaron became an advocate fighting for the rights of black men, empowering them. All the threats and abusive language never shattered his confidence and bravery. This self-reliance later paid him in form of honor and love.

Today, due to Hank Aaron, black African Americans are now sitting in upper management of Major League Baseball. At the time of Aaron, no black guy could dream of it. Henry Aaron taught the lesson of persistence and patience through his play.

This paid him later in form of a biographical book written on him. “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron” written by Howard Bryant pays homage to such an incredible human being and true hero of baseball.

Barry Bonds Controversy and Henry Aaron Role

After three decades, the home run record of Hank Aaron was broken by Barry Bonds. However, even before breaking the record, Bonds was rumored to be using PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs). During an interrogation, Barry Bonds confessed to using substances to enhance his performance by mistake. As per him, his trainer was falsely giving him drugs in the name of natural nutrition.

Even with such allegations and rumors, when Barry Bonds broke Aaron’s record, instead of spewing abusive language, he congratulated him with love and respect. He believed Barry Bonds breaking his record will motivate newcomers to play with their hearts and become a sensation in the world of baseball.

In an interview in 2020 before his death, Hank Aaron was asked about his feelings for someone being voted to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame, who is a cheater by all means. On this, Aaron simply smiled and told the interviewer that many cheaters in baseball successfully made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Instead of pulling someone’s leg, it’s far superior to celebrate someone’s success.

This indicates the type of person Henry “Hank” Aaron was. Even at that time, instead of using bad words, he chose to speak well for Barry Bonds. There was no sign of negativity, hatred, and bad emotions. As per some critics, Aaron supported Bonds even after the PEDs usage case was because Barry Bonds is indeed a black guy. However, the truth is that Hank Aaron is a nobleman who has never spoken against anyone.

He was a man with a golden heart. The baseball world must thank him for his timeless contribution. You can show your support to Aaron by getting your hands on Hank Aaron’s sports cards.


Author Bio:

Scott Trick has collected sports cards since the early 80s and because of his love for collecting, he started the website https://sportscardsauthority.com.  His favorite players are Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, but he cherishes all sports and all cards like they are art.