Baseball is a game of tradition. To go along with its rich history, it also has a long list of legendary players that have become almost mythical figures as the years go by. One of those players is Hank Aaron.
Aaron’s known for being the longtime home run king. He also had a lot of accomplishments following his baseball career. It raises the question: is Hank Aaron still alive?
Hank Aaron’s early life
Aaron was born on February 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama. He was the third child of eight born to his parents, Estella and Herbert Aaron. When Aaron was eight years old, the family moved to the middle-class part of Mobile known as Toulminville. He played both baseball and football growing up, playing shortstop and third base in high school.
The call of professional baseball cut Aaron’s high school career short. At the age of 18, he dropped out to sign with the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues. Aaron hit .366 on his way to a league championship with the Clowns. Aaron was the last player to spend time in both the Negro Leagues and MLB.
The color barrier having been broken by Jackie Robinson several years earlier, the majors came calling next. The Milwaukee Braves signed Aaron for $10,000. The Northern League named him their Rookie of the Year in 1952. In 1953, he played with the A-Level for the Jacksonville Braves. There he had 22 home runs and hit .362.
Simply put, Hank Aaron retired with one of the great MLB careers of all-time. Over the course of his 21-year career, he amassed more home runs than anyone else at the time. He toppled the previous home run king Babe Ruth’s record of 714. Aaron finished his career with 755 career home runs. His record stood until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007.
Here are the accomplishments Aaron was able to achieve during his illustrious, Hall of Fame baseball career:
- 143 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) Level
- 3,771 hits
- .305 batting average
- 2,297 RBI
- .374 on-base percentage
- .555 slugging percentage
- Two-time batting champion
- 25-time All-Star selection
- Three-time Gold Glove Award winner
- One Most Valuable Player Award
Aaron finished in the top 20 of the NL’s MVP voting 19 times. He finished with the all-time record for career RBI and career total bases. In 1982, Hall of Fame voters elected Aaron to the Baseball Hall of Fame with nearly 98% of the vote.
Is Hank Aaron still alive?
Aaron may be up there in years, but he is still very much alive. Aaron recently turned 86 and when he did, he received quite the birthday present: a building, named in his honor.
The Atlanta Technical College rechristened a building the Hank Aaron Academic Complex. Aaron is a big donor to the school. Many former players and current students of the school attended the event honoring Aaron.
Post-retirement, Aaron has become not just a great ambassador for the Braves organization, but for baseball as a whole. Aaron also gives back to the community. Through his program called the Hank Aaron Initiative, Aaron attempts to improve diversity in youth baseball leagues all across the country. Here’s what Aaron had to say about his efforts:
“It fills my heart, it makes me feel very proud…(Proud) of the fact that 23 years you played the game and small things like this happen. You’re in a room and you’ve got so many of these “kids” with your namesake, hoping one day that they too will play baseball.”
Aaron has obviously had quite an impact on the field, but in retirement, he’s still managing to impact the game in a big way off the field.