The sports world is mourning the loss of another icon as Hank Aaron passed away Friday at the age of 86. Aaron is survived by his wife, Billye, and five children, Gaile, Hank Jr., Lary, Dorinda and Ceci.
“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank. He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts,” Atlanta Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement.
“His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature. Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world.
“His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts. We are heartbroken and thinking of his wife Billye and their children Gaile, Hank, Jr., Lary, Dorinda and Ceci and his grandchildren.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers, co-owner Magic Johnson, Justin Turner and Vin Scully were among those to mourn Aaron’s passing and celebrate his memory.
Gibson, Ford, Brock, Seaver, Kaline, Morgan, Niekro, Lasorda, Sutton and now Hammerin Hank. We’ve lost some of the greatest to ever do it this year. @TommyLasorda is gonna have a hell of a roster to manage up there. #RIPLegends
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) January 22, 2021
and paved the way for other athletes like me to successfully transition into business.
Hank Aaron is on the Mount Rushmore for the greatest baseball players of all time! Rest In Peace my friend. Cookie and I are praying for the entire Aaron family. 🙏🏾
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 22, 2021
We join the baseball community in mourning the passing of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. The Los Angeles Dodgers send their condolences to the Aaron family and the Braves organization during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/Uo7qGOrZfq
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 22, 2021
Saddened to hear about Hank Aaron. He meant so much more to baseball and the country than just being one of the game's top home run hitters. He truly was a very special man.
— Vin Scully (@TheVinScully) January 22, 2021
“On behalf of the Dodgers, we send our condolences to the Aaron Family, the Braves organization and fans everywhere that were awed by Hank’s incredible feats and touched by his kind spirt,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement.
“Hank had it all, with the rare combination of athletic excellence and dignity and grace beyond the baseball field. He was a role model’s role model, and it was a privilege for all of us in Atlanta to watch and learn from him. For those who knew Hank personally, it was a privilege beyond words.”
Aaron spent 21 of 23 Major League seasons playing for the Braves, beginning his time with the franchise while they were in Milwaukee. The Hall of Famer finished his career with 755 home runs, which was the all-time MLB record until Barry Bonds surpassed it in 2007.
Aaron still has more RBI (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856) than any player in MLB history. He ranks second in at-bats (12,354), third in games played (3,298) and hits (3,771) and fourth in runs scored.
Scully, Dodgers connected to Aaron
Vin Scully memorably was on the call the night Aaron made MLB history against the Dodgers by hitting his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s record.
“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world,” Scully called.
“A Black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron, who was met at home plate, not only by every member of the Braves, but by his father and mother.
“He threw his arms around his father and as he left the home plate area, his mother came running across the grass, threw her arms around his neck and kissed him for all he was worth. As Aaron circled the bases, the Dodgers on the infield shook his hand. And that was a memorable moment.
“Aaron is being mobbed by photographers. He’s holding his right hand high in the air. And for the first time in a long time, that poker face of Aaron’s shows the tremendous strain and relief of what it must have been like to live with for the past several months. It is over.”
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