Rockford, Illinois News

Baseball great Hank Aaron dies at 86

ATLANTA  — Hank Aaron, one of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history, has died.

Aaron died in his sleep Friday. No caused of death has been released. He was 86.

Known as “Hammerin’ Hank,” Aaron began his professional career while still in high school, trying out for the Brooklyn Dodgers at 15. After being cut from the Dodgers, Aaron had a stint in the Negro leagues and signed with the Milwaukee Braves in 1952.

Aaron joined the Milwaukee Braves at the start of the 1954 season and remained with the organization until 1974. He finished his career in 1976, after two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.

One of the first Black players in Major League Baseball, Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record on April 8, 1974, at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium, sending his 715th over the left-center field wall.

Hank Aaron finished his career with 755 homers, 3,771 hits and 2,297 runs batted in. The 21-time All-Star and 1957 National League MVP was a four-time National League home run leader, four-time National League RBI leader, three-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time National League batting champion. He won the 1957 World Series as a member of the Milwaukee Braves.

Aaron is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Braves Hall of Fame, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. His No. 44 is retired by the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.

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