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One of the most respected athletes of all-time would’ve turned 90 years old today. Hailing from Mobile, Alabama Henry Louis Aaron became one of the most legendary figures in not just baseball, but in sports period. In a career that spanned over two decades, “Hammerin’ Hank” showcased his incredible hitting expertise and unwavering determination. Aaron’s impact on the game and its’ players (past, present and future) can’t ever be overlooked. Considering the fact that it’s his birthday and it’s also Black History Month, we thought it would be a good time to give him his flowers. From his humble beginnings to becoming the Home Run King, Aaron was a model of excellence. Below, check out a gallery filled with facts that you may or may not have known about the sports giant. HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY HANK AARON!

1. Family Ties

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Hank was 1 of eight children. His brother Tommie Aaron also played in the MLB (for 7 seasons). He has a total of 13 home runs. Combined they have 768 home runs, the most ever by two siblings. 

2. Home Run King

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Hank hit his first home run on April 23rd, 1954. He broke Babe Ruth’s home run record of 714 on April 8th, 1974. He ended his career with 755 home runs. He held the record for 33 years, until Barry Bonds broke it on August 7th, 2007. He currently still holds the records for career runs batted in (2,297), career total bases (6,856) and career extra-base hits (1,477). The bat that Hank Aaron used to hit his historic 715th home run is now on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

3. HIGHLY Decorated

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Hank’s Career Accolades Include:

  • 25x All-Star (1955-1975)
  • World Series Champion (1957)
  • NL MVP (1957)
  • 3x Gold Glove Award Winner (1958-1960)
  • 2x NL Batting Champion (1956, 1959)
  • 4x NL Home Run Leader (1957, 1963, 1966, 1967)
  • 4x NL RBI Leader (1957, 1960, 1963, 1966)

4. 414 To The 404

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Hank’s iconic #44 jersey is retired by both the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves. He played his whole career for the Braves franchise, which moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. 

5. Barrier Breaker

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Hank decided that he wanted to become a MLB player after hearing his childhood idol Jackie Robinson give a speech. Although not as bad, Hank went through some of the same things as Jackie. While playing for the Milwaukee Braves, Hank faced rampant discrimination (especially in the South). He would often have to travel, eat and sleep in different accommodations than the rest of his team. During the season he was likely to break Babe Ruth’s home run record, not only did he receive death threats, his daughter was also threatened to be kidnapped. Hank fought through it all. He was a supporter of civil rights, the NAACP and countless other humanitarian efforts to better the lives and rights of African-Americans in the US. 

6. Man Of The People


Hank didn’t just care about his people though. He cared about everyone! He was actively involved in various charitable organizations and established the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation to support children in need.

7. In His Words


Hank wrote an autobiography entitled I Had a Hammer in 1999. In the book, he relives his struggles and triumphs during his ground-breaking career. 

8. Higher Learning

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In 2001, Hank received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Princeton. 

9. Paying Homage

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In 1999, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hank surpassing Babe Ruth ‘s career home run mark, the MLB introduced the Hank Aaron Award. It was the first major award introduced by the MLB in 19 years. The award is given annually to the best overall offensive performer in each league.


10. No Question

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Hank was a first ballot inductee into the the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1982. He received 97.8% of votes. 

11. Off The Field Goat Too

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In 2001, Hank was the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal. In recognition of his contributions to the sport and society, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2002. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor a citizen can be awarded in the United States. In 2005, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund awarded him the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award. They also established the Hank Aaron Humanitarian in Sports Award.