By Sports Illustrated
The Hall of Fame slugger, known as much for his graciousness as his 755 home runs, died at age 86.
Baseball is but a game. The consequences of wins and losses are trivial but for the ephemeral joy and sadness they leave on our soul like footprints in the sand. Those that play it well are renowned for their acumen at this very skill-specific endeavor. They are master craftsmen.
When age and illness take them, as they have so often in
(Image credit – Sports Illustrated)
the past 12 months, we lose part of our youths and hold tight to the memories of how they could throw or hit a baseball.
Among the nearly 20,000 Major League Baseball players, Hank Aaron was one of the very few who transcended the game. He was bigger than baseball. He was a beacon of civil rights, of humility and of honest work ethic, all qualities we associate with America at its best, not just in some sporting venture. His death at age 86 was announced by the Braves on Friday.
Americans, not just baseball fans, owe a debt of gratitude to Hank Aaron. Yes, he was one of the best to ever play this game. Aaron died as the all-time home run leader, at least among all players who played the game fairly, which happens to be the very bedrock of sports. No one ever combined hitting for average and power over a more sustained period.
Aaron played 23 seasons. He came to the plate almost 14,000 times. He hit .305 with 755 home runs and 6,856 total bases—more than 700 total bases beyond everyone else. The gap between Aaron and No. 2 on the list, Stan Musial, is more than 12 miles worth of bases.
Read the full article at Sports Illustrated.