Henry Louis Aaron (born February 5, 1934), nicknamed “Hammer“ or “Hammerin’ Hank“, is a retired American Major League Baseball (MLB) right fielder who serves as the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves today in 2018….who played 21 seasons for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL)….with two seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League (AL), in his career from 1954 through 1976. Hammerin Hank held the MLB record for career home runs for 33 years….as he still holds several MLB offensive records. Hammer hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973….and is one of only two players in MLB history to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked Aaron fifth on its “100 Greatest Baseball Players” list.
Hank Aaron was born and raised in and around Mobile, Alabama….with one of his seven siblings, Tommie Aaron….who played in MLB with him. Aaron appeared briefly in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career. By his final MLB season, Aaron was the last Negro league baseball player on a major league roster.
Aaron played the vast majority of his MLB games in right field….though he appeared at several other infield and outfield positions. In his last two seasons, he was primarily a designated hitter. Aaron was an NL All-Star for 20 seasons and an AL All-Star for 1 season from 1955 through 1975. Aaron holds the record for the most seasons as an All-Star and the most All-Star Game selections (25)…. and is tied with Willie Mays and Stan Musial for the most All-Star Games played (24). He was a Gold Glove winner for three seasons. In 1957, he was the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) when the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series. He won the NL Player of the Month award in May 1958 and June 1967. Aaron holds the MLB records for the most career runs batted in (RBI) (2,297)….extra base hits (1,477)….and total bases (6,856)…..while Hammerin Hank is also in the top five for career hits (3,771)….and runs (2,174) in his career. Hammer is one of only four players to have at least seventeen seasons with 150 or more hits. ,,,,as Aaron is in second place in home runs (755) and at-bats (12,364)….while being in third place in games played (3,298). At the time of his retirement, Aaron held most of the game’s key career power hitting records.
Any way you cut the pie….Hanry Louis Aaron was truly one of the greatest baseball players to ever put on a uniform and ball cap…..for as Bone Daddy, the original Sportsphile , puts it….if you were a young boy in West Texas back in the 1950’s and 1960’s playing “whiffle ball” in the backyard…..you were either Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays or Hammerin Hank Aaron.