Hank Aaron, the legendary baseball slugger who overtook Babe Ruth as baseball’s Home Run King, died on Friday at the age of 86. The Atlanta Braves outfielder, also known as Hammerin’ Hank, was a 25-time all-star, the 1957 National League MVP, a three-time Gold Glove winner and of course, a Hall of Famer.
Aaron’s impact, however, was felt most off the field. The subject of racism and death threats as he closed in Ruth’s record, Aaron handled himself with class and grace and proved to be a role model for all Americans.
His iconic 755 home runs would stand until 2007 when Barry Bonds surpass him. Aaron remains Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in RBIs.
With so many musicians being baseball fans, the outpouring of tributes to Hammerin’ Hank poured in on Friday morning.
“Hank Aaron, my childhood baseball hero, has gone home. Watching him break Babe Ruth’s record for most home runs on television was a monumental moment. As a young black child, he inspired me to push for excellence. Rest easy Sir,” Lenny Kravitz wrote on Twitter.
“His dignity unsurpassed.The embodiment of Black Excellence before the term was conceived.He took the arrows,knives and venom of hatred and racism in stride without missing a step.Breaking records but never broken.King of baseball’s kingdom sans a crown,” MC Hammer, whose name was inspired by Aaron, tweeted.
See more tributes below.