The life of Hank Aaron in photos

The life of Hank Aaron in photos

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Image: AP

Hank Aaron had a remarkable career and distinguished life. The kid from Mobile, Ala. lived a good life, despite the hardships of racism and the many death threats he received as he sought to break Babe Ruth’s hallowed home run record, a feat he achieved in April of 1974.

Here’s a look at Hammerin’ Hank through the years in photos from his first days in the Big Leagues to the Hall of Fame and Medal of Freedom.

Been editing/writing sports for some time, mainly in NYC and a stint in LA.

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HURTIN’ HANK

HURTIN’ HANK

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Hank Aaron after his rookie season with the Milwaukee Braves, gets a look at his right ankle in Milwaukee on Nov. 9, 1954, which he broke sliding into third base, in late season game. Dr. Bruce Brewer, orthopedic specialist of Milwaukee hospital removes cast.

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HANK & MUSIAL

HANK & MUSIAL

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Hank Aaron, center, jokes with St. Louis Cardinals players Wally Moon, left, and Stan Musial before start of game between the Cardinals in St. Louis, Aug. 15, 1956.

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NEW DADDY

NEW DADDY

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Hank Aaron and his wife, Barbara, pose with their one-day-old twin sons, Larry, left, and Gary, at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Dec. 16, 1957. One of the twins died a few days later.

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THE BRAVES

THE BRAVES

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Henry Aaron with third baseman Eddie Mathews and first baseman Joe Adcock at Yankee Stadium before start of 1957 World Series.

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HANK & THE MICK

HANK & THE MICK

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The American League’s most valuable player Mickey Mantle with National League MVP Hank Aaron cross bats at Yankee Stadium in 1958.

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Reaching Milestones

Reaching Milestones

Illustration for article titled The life of Hank Aaron in photos
Image: AP

Hank Aaron and the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966 and he began accumulating huge career numbers. This picture in 1968 shows Aaron cracking his 493rd home run, tying him with Lou Gehrig for eighth all time. The catcher is Johnny Bench. Aaron would hit his 500th later that season.

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HANK & MAYS

HANK & MAYS

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Hank Aaron talks with fellow Alabamian and New York Met Willie Mays on June 2, 1972 before the Mets-Braves game at New York’s Shea Stadium.

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HANK & JIMMY

HANK & JIMMY








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Aaron meets with then-Governor and future President Jimmy Carter, right, and Delaware Gov. Sherman Tribbitt back in 1973.

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714

714

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Aaron ties the Babe with this 714th homer on Thursday, April 4, 1974, in Cincinnati.

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IT’S 715!

IT’S 715!

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Aaron passes Babe Ruth to become all-time home run king after hitting his 715th career homer, this one off Dodgers’ Al Downing, on April 8, 1974.

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HISTORY

HISTORY

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The scoreboard says it all. 715 Dingers!

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HAVIN’ A BALL

HAVIN’ A BALL

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Aaron hold up the 715th home run ball that was caught by reliever Tom House who ran it to home plate to deliver it.

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A HOUSE CALL

A HOUSE CALL

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Aaron addresses Congress just on Capitol Hill just days after hitting historic home run.

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OH YEAH!

OH YEAH!

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American home run king Hank Aaron takes a few swings with Japanese king Sadaharu Oh looking on. The two competed in a home run contest at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday, Nov. 2, 1974. Aaron won the contest, hitting 10 home run out of 18 fair pitches. Oh blasted nine homers out 20 fair pitches. Aaron won $50,000 for his efforts, while Oh received $20,000.

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CAN GO HOME AGAIN

CAN GO HOME AGAIN








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After slugging No. 715 for the Atlanta Braves, Aaron retuned to Milwaukee where it all started. He swings two bats here as he warms up for his final appearance for the season at Milwaukee County Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 29, 1975 . Aaron’s last game was played on Oct. 3, 1976 at home in Milwaukee.

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44 FOREVER

44 FOREVER








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Hank Aaron, with his wife by his side, holds up his Atlanta Braves Number 44 jersey as it is retired in pre-game ceremonies at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., April 15, 1977.

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HANK & TOMMY

HANK & TOMMY

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The newest addition to Hall of Fame, Hank Aaron, right, jokes with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda prior to an Old-Timers game at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on August 8, 1982. Lasorda passed away earlier this year as well.

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THE GREATESTS

THE GREATESTS

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Hank talks Muhammad Ali talks the Presidential Citizens Medal ceremony January 8, 2001 at the White House in Washington D.C. Ali and Aaron both received the medal.

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MEDAL OF FREEDOM

MEDAL OF FREEDOM

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Image: Getty Images

A day later President George W. Bush presents Aaron with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award at the White House in Washington, D.C. The medal is the highest civilian award given to those who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

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HANK & HIM

HANK & HIM

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Image: Getty Images

Aaron honors Barry Bonds for becoming new member of the 600 home run club photo shows new member of the 600 club in August of 2002. Years later Bonds would break Aaron’s all-time HR record, though weather he did it cleanly is debatable.

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FIRST PITCH

FIRST PITCH

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Atlanta Braves executive and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron tosses the ceremonial first pitch to then-rookie Jason Heyward before the team’s Opening Day baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field in Atlanta Monday, April 5, 2010.

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A SON OF MOBILE

A SON OF MOBILE

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Aaron, left, stands next to his wife, Billye, as they view some of the memorabilia during the opening of the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum, Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Aaron’s childhood home was relocated to the stadium where the Double-A Mobile BayBears play.

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LIFELONG BUDS

LIFELONG BUDS

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Major League Baseball and former commissioner and former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers Bud Selig greets Hank Aaron at a ceremony to unveil a statue of Selig outside Miller Park Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010, in Milwaukee. Selig and Aaron were close friends for decades.

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PRINCE OF A MAN

PRINCE OF A MAN

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Aaron is awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities during commencement for the class of 2011 at Princeton University, Tuesday, May 31, 2011, in Princeton, N.J., for making America a better place with his “imperishable example of grace under pressure.”

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HALL OF A GUY

HALL OF A GUY

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Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, and regularly made the trip to Cooperstown for the annual ceremony. Here is in 2013.

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40 YEARS LATER

40 YEARS LATER

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Aaron speaks during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of his 715th home run before the start of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Atlanta.

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MR. 44

MR. 44

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Former Braves great and Baseball Hall of Fame member Hank Aaron changes the number of games left at Turner Field from 44 to 43 during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Friday, June 24, 2016, in Atlanta.

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STATUESQUE

STATUESQUE

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Fans line up next to a statue of former Atlanta Braves player Hank Aaron before going inside Turner Field for the last Braves baseball game at the ballpark, before playing the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Atlanta.

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A SHINING EXAMPLE

A SHINING EXAMPLE

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Just weeks before his death Aaron waits to receive his COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Aaron and others received their vaccinations in an effort to highlight the importance of getting vaccinated for Black Americans who might be hesitant to do so.

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Been editing/writing sports for some time, mainly in NYC and a stint in LA.