The baseball world and the nation at large reacted with grief and tributes on Friday Death of hank aron, One of the greatest to ever swing the bat. Former sportspersons, officials, commissioners and American presidents honored a man who faced racism with courage and strength to face Home run leaders all the time and so much more.
“Was a great American, a great American, and a great player,” Bud Selig, the former commissioner who had been close friends with Aaron for 62 years, said in a telephone interview.
However Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth’s record for most home runs and eventually scored a new score of 755, and still the most runs batted in (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856). Has a record, he has somehow been overlooked in many conversations about the best players in baseball history.
But many of Aaron’s contemporaries, and others who came later, emphasize that no player was better than Hamrin Hank’s player.
“We all felt that way,” Dustin Baker, Aaron’s teammate and close friend and current manager of the Houston Astro, said in a brief chat before he was overcome by grief. “But Hank knew how good he was. For me, he was the biggest I was around. “
Aaron is one of several baseball legends who have died in the past several months, including Tom sewer, Bob gibson And Al kalin And more recently Don sutton And Tommy Lasorda. But Aaron’s stature as a leader and pioneer for racial equality intensified his loss beyond baseball, where three former US presidents issued statements to recognize his demise.
Jimmy Carter called Aaron a dear friend and said, “He has been a personal hero for us. A breaker of records and racial barriers, his remarkable legacy will continue to inspire countless athletes and fans for generations to come. “
Barack Obama called Aaron polite and hardworking, noting that “Hunk was often ignored until he started chasing Beth Ruth’s home run record, at which point he received death threats and racist letters.” Starts meeting – the letter that will later resume to remind itself, ‘No. Surprised or hurt.’ Those letters replaced Hank, but they didn’t stop him. “
George W. Bush stated that “Hank never faced hatred.
As a player, Aaron was known for power, but he compiled an excellent batting average. He was a .305 hitter for his career and led the league in batting twice, collecting 200 hits three times. He ranks third with 3,771 hits. Among all his notable figures, he made a record 25 All-Star teams in 23 years (four of these seasons were two All-Star Games).
“You think of Hank, you think of home runs”, said Joe Tor, Hall of Fame manager who played with the Braves nine years with Aaron, but you can forget about everything. He was a great base runner, and stole a lot of bases, but only when it meant something to the team. “
Selig, whose friendship with Aaron dates back to 1958, when they both lived in Milwaukee with the Braves during Aaron’s years, said that Aaron was the best he had ever seen.
“Look, I’m partial,” Selig said. “I understand that Willie Mayes was phenomenal, but I’m partial because we were so close, and if you played Henry as often as I did, oh my goodness. Just look at his lifetime stats. Wow. I’m so sad today . “
Ken Singleton, a Yankee broadcaster, played against Aron for five years in the National League from 1970 to 1974, and brought Aaron back to Milwaukee with Bravo twice in the American League after Selig and finished his career there in 1975 and 1976. With young black players coming in, Singleton said Aaron was always kind, accepting and supportive.
“When it came to the area you saw,” Singleton said. “There was a regal feeling about him. If you just turn on the TV and see someone round the bases after driving home, then you know it was him. He just kept walking like it was another day in the park, and for him, it really was. “
Singleton expressed surprise at how much Aaron had beaten – always less than 100 times in a season. From his perch in the outfield, Singleton studied the swing of right-handed batsmen and said Aaron’s bat speed was different, even to the end of his career.
“The last six inches of his swing were just a blur,” he said. “I have never seen anyone else do that.”
After retiring, Aaron returned to the Braves to become the director of his farm and later worked in several capacities for the team. He still had an office in the stadium and worked in the training room.
“He’s basically brave,” said Derek Schiller, the club’s president and chief executive officer. He said, “I know there are a lot of people who have worn the uniform, but none like Hank.”
Chaper Jones, the Braves ‘Hall of Fame third baseman, called Aaron a patron and said that many of Jones’ contemporaries, including superstars, would ask him to introduce them to Aaron. But despite his reverence, he did not fully appreciate Aaron’s unique place in baseball lore.
“No, they don’t know how good a baseball player he was,” Jones said. “He played for the Galactic All-Stars. We were just Earthlings.”
Tyler Kepner And Alan blinder Contributed to reporting.