Legendary baseball player Hank Aaron, who beat Babe Ruth’s home run record, died Friday at 86.
The Atlanta Braves confirmed his death, tweeting, “It is with great sadness we share the passing of our home run king, Hank Aaron.”
The franchise also released a statement on the icon, saying, “We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank. He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with the player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature. Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world. His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts.”
“We are heartbroken and thinking of his wife Billye and their children Gaile, Hank Jr., Lary, Dorinda and Ceci.”
Aaron, who was born February 5, 1934, in Atlanta, and played most of his career with the Braves, endured racism, death threats and hate mail during his career as he surpassed Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs. He retired after 23 years with 755. Barry Bonds eventually beat his record with 762.
According to The L.A. Times, Aaron once said, “This was supposed to be the greatest time of my life. They cut a piece of my heart out. Babe Ruth never had to contend with anything like that when he was establishing his record.”
Hank was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He still holds the MLB record for RBIs, with 2,297.