Baseball lost one of its greatest figures on Friday as Hall of Famer and longtime home run king Hank Aaron is believed to have died aged 86.
As CBS 46 in Atlanta First reported, Aaron died early Friday morning. The circumstances of his death have not yet been communicated. The news was then confirmed by Major League Baseball Twitter Account.
Aaron is recognized as one of the most important players in the game. The 25-time All-Star is best known for breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time homerun record, ending his career with 755 career homers. This brand was later overtaken by San Francisco Giants legend Barry Bonds. However, Bonds’ alleged use of performance enhancing drugs changed public perception, leaving Aaron as the “real” home run king in many eyes.
The image of Aaron hitting his record 715th home run in 1974 and being harassed by fans while skirting the base trails remains one of the most iconic moments in MLB history.
Meanwhile, Aaron remains the all-time leader in MLB RBI with 2.297.
Aaron spent 21 seasons with the Braves organization, first when the team was based in Milwaukee and later in Atlanta. He also spent two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Aaron’s impact on gaming has since been honored with the creation of the Hank Aaron Award, which goes to the best offensive player in each league.
Later in his life, Aaron remained in the public sphere, remaining a prominent civil rights leader. On January 6, he publicly received the COVID-19 vaccine in an attempt to increase public support for receiving the vaccine.
In 23 MLB seasons, Aaron finished with 3,771 hits, 626 doubles, 2,297 RBIs, a batting average of 0.305 and an OPS of .928.