Carl honors the memory of Mobile native, baseball legend Hank Aaron

News Highlights: Carl honors the memory of Mobile native, baseball legend Hank Aaron.

Congressman Jerry Carl made a statement on the deaths of baseball legend and Mobile-born Hank Aaron. “I am deeply saddened to hear that Hank Aaron has passed away,” said Carl:

Born in Mobile, ‘Hammerin’ Hank ‘was a baseball legend respected not only for his performance on the field, but also for his personal integrity and character. Hank Aaron never let his humble upbringing and lack of access to baseball equipment as a young boy hinder his growth or commitment to the game. Throughout his storied career, he would eventually break multiple baseball hall of fame records, most notably Babe Ruth’s home run record hitting 755 home runs. I am proud to call him a fellow Mobilian, and I know that his family and friends find comfort in the fact that his memory lives on in the lives of so many. My prayers today are with Hank Aaron’s family and friends. ”

When the Milwaukee Braves announced they were moving to Atlanta, Aaron was initially against moving back south. Aaron grew up on the segregated cellular network and said, “I know what’s down there.”

Aaron wanted to be swapped to another team until after meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Andrew Young, in which civil rights leaders urged Aaron to put his concerns aside for what he could do for the movement. King told Aaron that his game in the South would be as effective as any protest. Aaron’s move to Atlanta, in an era before free choice and player movement, made Aaron the first black athletic superstar in team sports to play for a team in the South.

“It’s no exaggeration to think of Hank Aaron as the perfect baseball player,” baseball writer Jerry Brewer wrote. “It’s not a grief-swelled attempt to lion an irreplaceable giant. The man could do anything: hit for average, hit for strength, run, defend flawlessly in the right field, lead. He could endure, through racist hatred and death threats, and break the sport’s sacred home run record. ”

Aaron ended his Hall of Fame career with a record 755 homeruns. That figure stood until August 7, 2007, when Barry Bonds surpassed it. Some baseball purists dispute Bonds ‘record, claiming with significant anecdotal evidence that Bonds’ performance was enhanced with the help of anabolic steroids.

Aaron regularly received hate mail and death threats as he neared Babe Ruth’s sacred record of 714 home runs. Aaron broke the record in 1974 and hit his last home run, number 755, on July 20, 1976.

In an era before sports nutrition and the miraculous medical advancements that can save or extend an athlete’s current career, Aaron was surprisingly durable. From 1955 to 1970, Aaron played 145 or more games in each season and played in 150 or more games in all but two years.

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While today’s powerhitters often accept high strikeouts as a result of hitting in front of the fences, Aaron had more walks in his career than strikeouts. Aaron had a good eye for the board. For his career, he ran 19 times more often than he hit. In 1969, he walked 87 times and struckout only 47.

Aaron had 10 seasons in which he hit 30 or more home runs and struckout less than 65 – a figure that hasn’t been duplicated in MLB history, including the steroid era. Aaron had speed too. He remains the career leader for stolen bases with 6,856 – 722 more than Stan Musial, who is runner-up of all time. Aaron had 3,771 career hits and 2,297 runs batted in.

Aaron was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1957. He won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1970, and in 2002 President George W. Bush awarded Aaron the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Aaron made the All-Star team for 21 years of his 23-year career and failed to make the All-Star team in only his first and last seasons.

Via: www.alreporter.com

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