Watch: Hank Aaron’s tribute at All-Star Game was truly epic (Video)

Hank Aaron was honored at the MLB All-Star Game in a touching tribute featuring his wife, Billye. 

Baseball lost an absolute titan of the game when Hank Aaron died in January 2021.

Historic and iconic doesn’t even begin to do Aaron’s impact on baseball justice. One of the greatest home run hitters of all-time, Aaron famously chased and then shattered Babe Ruth’s record of 714 career home runs during the 1973 season. He was also the last Negro league player to hold a regular position in Major League Baseball, having started his career in 1952 with the Indianapolis Clowns.

During his pursuit of Ruth’s career home run record, Aaron was subjected to racist vitriol and death threats from cowardly white fans who didn’t want to see a Black man achieve the historic feat.

He has been celebrated for almost his entire adult life as a hero of baseball, but Aaron was never shy about the brutal toll the racism he endured took on him and his family. He never stopped fighting for or speaking up for social justice, right up to the end of his life.

The All-Star Game was originally going to be held in Atlanta, but the state Republican’s passed excessively strict voting restrictions that were transparently racist. It was the type of thing Aaron fought against, and

Instead he was honored at the beginning of the game in Denver, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Aaron’s widow, Billye Aaron, was presented with framed jersey signed by every member of the All-Star teams as well as a painting that depicted a young Aaron standing under a towering image of the man he would one day become.

Hank Aaron All-Star Appearances

Hank Aaron was named to 25 All-Star teams throughout his career with the Braves and Brewers.

How many years did Hank Aaron play?

He began his career in the Negro League, playing for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1952. He joined the Milwaukee Braves in 1954 and followed them to Atlanta where continued to play until the 1974 season.

Aaron played two more seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before retiring in 1976 after a 24 year career.

Hank Aaron career home runs

The most famous of the many home runs Aaron hit was the 715th of his career. It’s one of the most celebrated moments in baseball history, but it wasn’t last home run.

Aaron went on to hit 40 more home runs before his career was over, finishing with a then-record of 755. It was a record that stood for 34-years when Barry Bonds broke it during the 2007 season.

When did Hank Aaron retire?

After a 24-year career that spanned two leagues, three teams and almost a quarter of a century, Aaron retired following the 1976 season. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility.

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