March 9, 2021

Baseball Has Lost a True Titan in Henry Aaron (1934-2021) (FanGraphs)

There are baseball stars, there are heroes and legends, and then there is Henry Aaron. The slugging right fielder is remembered mainly for surpassing Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record on April 8, 1974, but even that crowning achievement obscures the all-around excellence and remarkable consistency he demonstrated during his 23-year major league career.

What’s more, Aaron’s accomplishments can most fully be appreciated only with an understanding of the racism he encountered throughout his life and his career, as a Black man who began his professional career in the Negro Leagues, who became a star before half of the teams in the National League had integrated and a champion before the last teams in the American League did so, who emerged as a force for civil rights while becoming the first Black star on the first major league team in the Deep South, who surpassed the most hallowed record produced by the game’s most famous player while facing a nearly unimaginable barrage of hate mail and death threats, and who broke down further barriers after his retirement, as one of the game’s first Black executives and as a critic of the lack of diversity among managers and…

Read “Baseball Has Lost a True Titan in Henry Aaron (1934-2021)” at FanGraphs