The baseball great and one-time home run king Hank Aaron has died. The Atlanta Braves said he died peacefully in his sleep early Friday. No cause was given. He was 86.
Below is a look at his career and accomplishments.
Full Name: Henry Louis Aaron
Nicknames: Hammerin’ Hank, The Hammer
Born: Feb 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama
Major League Career: 1954-76
Teams: Milwaukee Braves (1954-1965), Atlanta Braves (1966-1974), Milwaukee Brewers (1975-76)
Biggest Accomplishment: Broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974 and finished his career with 755, a mark that stood for more than 33 years until it was eclipsed by Barry Bonds in 2007.
Other Records: MLB career leader in RBIs (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856); played in 25 All-Star Games.
World Series Appearances: 1957 (Braves defeated the New York Yankees, 4-3); 1958 (Braves lost to the Yankees, 4-3)
Other Postseason Appearances: 1969 (Braves lost to the New York Mets 3-0 in NL Championship Series)
Awards and Accolades: National League MVP (1957); NL batting champion (1956, 1959); NL home run leader (1957, 1963, 1966, 1967); NL RBI leader (1957, 1960, 1963, 1966); NL Gold Glove (1958, 1959, 1960); Baseball Hall of Fame (1982); Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002)
Noteworthy: First player to reach 500 homers and 3,000 hits; never struck out 100 times in a season; third player in baseball history after Ken Williams and Willie Mays with at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season (1963); finished in Top 10 of NL MVP balloting 13 times; finished with a career average of .305; honored in 1999 by Major League Baseball with the Hank Aaron Award, which goes to baseball’s top hitter each season; 20 straight seasons with at least 20 homers; eight 40-homer seasons; six seasons with more than 20 stolen bases.
Beginnings: Started pro career at age 17 with Indianapolis Clowns of Negro American League.
What Might’ve Been: Aaron could have been paired in the same outfield with Willie Mays, receiving offers from both the Boston Braves and Mays’ team, the New York Giants. He chose the Braves’ slightly higher offer.
Did You Know? Aaron never hit 50 homers in a season. His career high was 47 in 1971.