Boston baseball fans never got to experience first-hand the greatness of Hank Aaron. The Boston Braves left for Milwaukee in 1953 and Aaron joined the Braves in 1954.
With Aaron leading the way, the Braves then embarked on a run of great seasons, culminating in the 1957 World Series championship.
Although the Braves descended into mediocrity in the 1960s, Hank Aaron continued to perform at a high level, year after year, for more than two decades. When all was said and done, Aaron not only had broken Babe Ruth’s career home run record, but he also set career marks for RBI and total bases (the latter by a wide margin) that still stand today.
Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it was his achievements off the field that have earned him everlasting fame. He was a pioneer in the civil rights movement who was among a handful of Black athletes who helped to bring to an end the dark era of segregation and discrimination that existed in the 1950s and ‘60s.
On a personal level, Hank Aaron was admired and respected by all who knew him. He was one of those very few people who never had an unkind word to say about anybody, and vice-versa.
Hank Aaron was not the most-outspoken of persons, but he literally and figuratively epitomized the meaning of the phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” He will be missed.