Baseball Legend and Civil Rights Pioneer Hank Aaron Dead at 86

Baseball Legend and Civil Rights Pioneer Hank Aaron Dead at 86

Born in 1934 in a poor and predominantly Black section of Mobile, Alabama, Aaron was something of an athletic prodigy. Before joining the Braves in 1954 at age 20, he played for the Indianapolis Clowns, a Negro American Leagues team, and the Eau Claire Bears, one of the Braves’ Minor League Baseball teams. But during the nascent days of the civil rights movement, Black success in professional sports generated danger in addition to fame and fortune. The death threats reached a fever pitch when it became apparent that Aaron was fast closing in on Babe Ruth’s home run record of 714. In 1999, Major League Baseball named the prestigious Hank Aaron Award for him.

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