How Hank Aaron was legendary for his home runs and humanity

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 21, 1975: Designated-hitter Hank Aaron #44 of the Milwaukee Brewers watches the flight of the ball he's just hit during a game on June 21, 1975 against the Cleveland Indians at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by: Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 21, 1975: Designated-hitter Hank Aaron #44 of the Milwaukee Brewers watches the flight of the ball he's just hit during a game on June 21, 1975 against the Cleveland Indians at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by: Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images) /

Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron is one of the most popular names in baseball history. He has been one of the top players in MLB with several accolades and awards. His records and recognitions are still celebrated today. One of the most cherished memory for Atlanta Braves fans where to see Hank Aaron home runs. When in 2021, Hank Aaron passed away, his fans felt orphaned and alone.

Many people believe Hank Aaron’s home runs are the only thing that makes him famous, but that’s not the only thing that makes Aaron the champion he was in his times. It was his humanity, patience, and respect for others that made him a legend.

Even from the pictures of Hank Aaron, one can visibly see his demeanor, attitude, and personality. Filled with positive energy and enthusiasm, Henry “Hank” Aaron was a man with excellence. Let us learn more about him, as a player and as a human.

Hank Aaron had an illustrious career as a renowned MLB player

Henry “Hank” Aaron had nicknames such as “Hammerin’ Hank” and “Hammer.” In the field, people knew him as Hank Aaron. However, he preferred people to use Henry Aaron. His rivals in the field called him “Bad Henry,” not because of any scandal but for being one of the most powerful hitters and after seeing hundreds of Hank Aaron home runs.

Hank Aaron played a total of 23 seasons of Major League Baseball, among which 21 seasons were for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves while the other two seasons were played with the Milwaukee Brewers. Throughout his career, Aaron played as a right fielder and continued smashing hits after hits.

When he retired, Aaron became senior vice president for the Atlanta Braves, where he managed the team, their public relations, and helped in acquiring new talents. One of the biggest reasons for Henry Aaron’s popularity is his place in history as taking over the all-time MLB home run mark from Babe Ruth, who smashed 714 home runs during his storied career. Aaron finished his career with 755.

When in 1975, Hank Aaron broke the record of Babe Ruth and smashed his 715th home run, the crowd roared with amusement and applause. However, not every ovation was for his favor. This is where the darkness of MLB started.

Many people know that Hank Aaron broke the home run record of Babe Ruth, but only a few understood the cost he paid, including the mental trauma he suffered and the pain he endured. Being a black man, Aaron faced racism. Babe Ruth was a white man and therefore breaking the record meant challenging white supremacy. For such an act, Hank Aaron received hate mail and death threats.

Apart from being a home run king, Aaron also has more career RBI (2,297) and career total bases (6,856) and career extra-base hits (1,477) than any player who ever played in MLB. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and became an essential part of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He received three Gold Glove Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, and the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Major League Baseball also introduced the “Hank Aaron Awards” in 1999 in celebration of Aaron’s incredible home runs record.

The pureness of humanity … it’s not only about Hank Aaron’s home runs

For more than three decades, Hank Aaron remained the home run king. Finally, in 2007, Barry Bonds broke the record and took the title away from him. Just like Aaron broke the record of Ruth, decades later Bonds broke his. However, the story isn’t that simple.

Way before hitting his 756th home run, Barry Bonds was surrounded by some controversies. Since 2003, Bonds was facing trials on the usage of “The Clear” steroids from BALCO. The drugs were called “The Clear” for not being detectable in any doping test. He was allegedly using PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) to boost his performance and overall stamina in the game.

Usage of such drugs can alter the power of a player, and hitting home runs with these could be much easier. However, Bonds kept denying the facts. During this phase, Hank Aaron remained silent and showed support to him. Later, Bonds admitted to unknowingly using the drugs in name of nutritional supplements given by his trainer.

Therefore, when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s home run record in 2007, controversies skyrocketed. Despite that, Hank Aaron continued the support and congratulated Bonds on his brilliance. He further wished for more players to come forward and keep breaking these records and shine in MLB history.

Later, however, Aaron said in an interview that there was no place in the Baseball Hall of Fame for cheaters. This past January, Bonds failed on his 10th and final attempt on the BBWAA ballot to gain enshrinement in Cooperstown.

Henry “Hank” Aaron always stood up for what was right and actively became an advocate to eliminate racism in sports, especially in baseball. It was his incredible support that helped other black men in the community to be able to sit on top positions in Major League Baseball.

Hank Aaron — A man with humanity and innocence in heart

Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron was a man whose heart was always filled with love and respect. He not only appreciated his fellow baseball players, but also the league he was associated with. Hank Aaron remained true to himself and played his game with dedication and commitment. Seeing all those Hank Aaron home runs is a pleasure that was cherished by not only the Braves organization, but all of baseball.

There is no doubt that Hank Aaron was a phenomenal player and a hard hitter, but he was also a good human being and a person who should be celebrated every day. He taught a younger generation to spread love and remain true to themselves. He left a legacy of humanity and care over everything.

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Aaron spread the concept of transparency in games and life. His wisdom and positive attitude are what sets him apart from others in the history of professional baseball.