Remembering a legend

Hank Aaron broke more than records on the field — he also paved the way for other black baseball players and athletes of color to play the game


David Valdez

Baseball legend Hank Aaron speaks during the Tom Johnson Lecture Series at the LBJ Presidential Library on January 22, 2015. Aaron died on January 22.

Kylie Chisamore, Sports Editor

Baseball superstar Hank Aaron passed away on January 22, 2021.

Aaron played for the Milwaukee Braves in the MLB for twenty-one seasons. After that, he went on to play another two seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers. Aaron was admitted into the baseball hall of fame in 1982.

“Aaron remains baseball’s all-time leader in RBIs (2,297) and total bases [stolen] (6,856),” the Baseball Hall of Fame states. “If each of his 755 home runs were removed from his statistical record, Aaron would still have 3,016 hits.”

Aaron was arguably one of the best baseball players as he broke a long standing record set by Babe Ruth with a total of 755 home runs in his career.

Aaron faced many challenges as a child due to him growing up in the Jim Crow era, a time where the principle of “separate but equal’ was legal. But, despite facing these challenges as an African American man, he still found ways to give back and appreciate everyone who helped him in his lifetime, and was a role model to many children. Aaron used his platform as a professional baseball player to speak out against racism and promote positivity.

“He and his wife Billye began the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation in 1994. More than 20 years later, the Aarons’ foundation has awarded hundreds of scholarships to underprivileged youth from across the United States, enabling them the assistance necessary to help fulfill their dreams,” states the New York Times.

More recently, Aaron used his platform to promote the importance of not only wearing a mask but getting the vaccine as well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aaron received the COVID-19 vaccine and tragically passed away seventeen days later. Despite the beliefs of anti-vaccine activists, the vaccine had nothing to do with Aaron’s death.

“The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said Monday that Aaron, considered one of the greatest all-around players in baseball history, died of natural causes,” States NBC News. Many people who are anti-vaccine are protesting and disrupting the places where it is possible for the people to get the vaccine due to the misconception that has now been ruled out.

Aaron was a Civil Rights activist, a phenomenal baseball player, a caring and considerate person. His death came as a shock to many fans. He lived a long and healthy life and proved many people wrong.