Hank Aaron, the right fielder for the Atlanta Braves, shown in this close up photograph, was named to the National League All Star team for the 16th straight year.
Bettmann | Getty Images
National Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron has died at age 86, a spokesperson confirmed Friday.
Aaron, considered one of the greatest players of all time, broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974.
He now resides in the number two spot, behind Barry Bonds.
Hammerin’ Hank’s MLB career would span 23 years where he raked in 755 career home runs, an MVP trophy and a World Series win in 1957.
Born in 1934 in segregated Alabama, Aaron began his baseball career with the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League in 1952 after leaving his hometown of Mobile with only two dollars in his hand.
“My mother told me that was all she had to give me and be very careful with it,” Aaron told NBC News in an interview last summer.
Aaron quickly transitioned into Major League Baseball, where he started playing for the Milwaukee Braves in 1954.
His debut in the MLB came seven years after Jackie Robinson first broke the sport’s color barrier, at a time when only 5% of players in the league were Black.
Even as Aaron gained renown as he chased Babe Ruth’s record, he continued to face racism.
“I couldn’t go out of the ballpark without an escort. I had to stay in another hotel, rather than stay in one with my teammates,” said Aaron in an NBC News interview, “it was the toughest moment of my life.”
Aaron would play with the Braves through their move to Atlanta until 1974, when he returned to Milwaukee to play for the Brewers.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.