From poverty to legendary, Hank Aaron remembered as one of the greatest baseball players

Sports

CHICOPEE. Mass. (WWLP) – Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron died Friday morning at the age of 86.

Over the last year, baseball has lost some of it’s biggest stars… Joe Morgan, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver to name just a few, but Hank Aaron is the biggest one of all.

From poverty to immortality, and the stuff legends are made from. Hank Aaron was a Hall of Famer on and off the field.

Not bad for a young man from Mobile, Alabama, one of eight children living in a home without electricity or indoor bathrooms. However, he could play the game of baseball with grace. An easy swing and consistency over a 23 year career, mostly with the Milwaukee and later the Atlanta Braves.

His signature moment, April 8, 1974, when he hit his 715th career home run passing the legendary Babe Ruth on the all time list. It was the one of the greatest achievements in sports history and he did it under incredible pressure.

FILE – Atlanta Braves’ Hank Aaron smiles during a press conference at Atlanta Stadium, Ga., after the game in which he hit his 715th career home, in this April 8, 1974, file photo. With him is his wife Billye, partially obscured. (AP Photo/File)

He endured extreme racial prejudice, vicious hate mail and threats, and feared for his life during a lonely pursuit to break the Babe’s all-time home run record.

When he was interviewed minutes after the big moment he said simply, “I just thank God it’s over.”

Hank Aaron was humble, dignified and proud. A man who leaves a legacy to be admired and remembered.

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