Kirby Smart shares touching tribute to Atlanta legend Hank Aaron
The world lost an American icon on Friday, as Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron passed away at the age of 86.
Aaron was one of the greatest baseball players of all-time, as he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record and played in 25 all-star games. He spent most of his professional career with the Braves, though they played in both Milwaukee and Atlanta during his time in uniform.
Many people on social media shared their thoughts and reactions to Aaron’s passing on Friday. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was one of those, sharing a photo of himself and Aaron.
“I loved getting to spend some time with Hank Aaron a few years ago,” Smart tweeted on Friday. “He was a legend in every way! RIP.”
I loved getting to spend some time with Hank Aaron a few years ago. He was a legend in every way! RIP pic.twitter.com/c56h79qJfj
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) January 22, 2021
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement as well on Friday.
“Hank Aaron is near the top of everyone’s list of all-time great players,” Manfred said. “His monumental achievements as a player were surpassed only by his dignity and integrity as a person. Hank symbolized the very best of our game, and his all-around excellence provided Americans and fans across the world with an example to which to aspire.
“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Hank’s wife, Billye, their family, the fans of Atlanta and Milwaukee, and the millions of admirers earned by one of the pillars of our game.”
Aaron debuted for the Braves in 1954. He won the NL MVP Award in 1957. When the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965, Aaron came as well, bringing one of the most important Georgia sports figures to the city.
His most iconic moment came when he hit his 715th home run, passing Ruth in 1974. That would also be his final season with the Braves, as he spent the last two years of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Aaron was born in Mobile, Ala., in 1934. He remained in Atlanta after his retirement from baseball. In 2002, Aaron was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor an American can receive.
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