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Aaron, Henry Louis (Hank, Hammerin' Hank)

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Born: 1934 AD
Currently alive, at 80 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Athlete, Baseball Player

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1934 - Born on February 5th in Mobile, Alabama.

1950 - Aaron attended Central High School as a freshman and a sophomore. There he played shortstop and third base on the baseball team and helped lead his team to the Negro High School Championship both years.

1951 - Went to Josephine Allen Institute, a private high school in Alabama.

         - Played on the Pritchett Athletics, a semi-pro team, as their shortstop and third baseman.

         - Downs helped him sign a contract with the Negro League's Indianapolis Clowns on November 20th.

1952 - Helped lead the Clowns to victory in the 1952 Negro League World Series.

         - Aaron's contract was acquired by the Boston Braves for $10,000. The team assigned Aaron to the Eau Claire Bears, the Braves' Northern League farm club.

         - He secured league's Rookie of the Year as the Bears' second baseman.

1953 - Aaron was sent to the Jacksonville Tars. He was the first to break the color line in the Class A South Atlantic League. That year, Aaron led the league in runs (115), hits (208), doubles (36), RBI (115), and batting average (.362).

         - He won the league's MVP Award.

         - In what turned out to be his last stop before the majors, he played winter ball in Puerto Rico.

1954 -Made his first spring training start for the Braves in left field and hit a home run.

         - Made his major league debut and went 0-for-5 against the Cincinnati Reds' Joe Nuxhall.

1955 - Henry made his first All-Star team. It was the first of a record-tying 24 All-Star Games for Aaron. Aaron finished the season batting .314 with 27 home runs and 106 RBI.

1956 - Hank hit .328 and captured first of two NL batting titles. He was also named as The Sporting News NL Player of the Year.

1957 - Aaron had usually hit second in the batting order. In 1957, he was moved to fourth, behind Mathews. He also switched from a 36-ounce bat to a 34-ounce bat. Coincidently, Aaron won his only NL MVP Award that year.

1958 - He led the Braves to another pennant, but this time they lost a seven-game Series to the Yankees. Aaron still had was able to take home an award that year. He finished just 3rd in the MVP race, but, he picked up his first Gold Glove.

1959 - Hit two-run home runs in the 1st, 6th and 7th innings off Johnny Antonelli, Stu Miller and Gordon Jones against San Francisco Giants.

1961 - Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas became the first four players ever to hit successive home runs in a game.

1963 - Aaron just missed winning the triple crown by leading the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBI while finishing second in batting. He did became the third player to successfully steal 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in a single season. Despite his impressive year, he again finished third in the MVP voting.

1965 - The Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta after the '65 season. Aaron was just the eighth player to reach the 500 home run milestone. He was the second youngest player to ever do so at 34 years, five months and nine days, a year and a half older than the youngest player to do so, Jimmie Foxx.

         - Hit the last home run by a Milwaukee Braves player at Milwaukee County Stadium.

1969 - On July 30, 1969 Aaron hit his 537th home run to move into third place on the career home run list behind only Willie Mays and Babe Ruth. Aaron was now in the most productive home run hitting stretch of his career, and it became apparent that he would have a legitimate chance of overtaking Ruth, moreso than Mays who was more rapidly approaching the end of his career. Aaron again finished 3rd in the MVP voting.

1970 - He was the first player to reach the 3,000 career hit plateau and hit at least 500 career home runs.

1971 - He hit his 600th career homer off the San Francisco Giants' Gaylord Perry in Atlanta.

1972 - Aaron tied and then surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list. Aaron also knocked in the 2,000th run of his career and hit a home run in the first All-Star game in Atlanta.

         - Broke Stan Musial's major league record for total bases (6,134).

1973 - Endured death threats and a large assortment of racist hate mail from people who did not want to see a black man break Ruth's home run record.

1975 - He was traded by the Brewers.

1976 - Hit his 755th and final home run off the California Angels' Dick Drago at Milwaukee County Stadium.

1982 - Aaron rejoined the Atlanta Braves organization as player development director four days after retiring from baseball. Aaron became one of the first blacks in Major League Baseball upper-level management as Atlanta's vice president of player development.
 
1989 - He has served as senior vice president and assistant to the president, but he is more active for Turner Broadcasting as a corporate vice president of community relations and a member of TBS's board of directors. He also is vice president of business development for The Airport Network.

1999 - He was honored for his achievements as a player and a person. Major League Baseball announced the introduction of the Hank Aaron Award, to be presented annually to the best hitters in the American League and National League.

2002 - Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. He is the last Negro League player to play in the Major Leagues.


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Page last updated: 4:34am, 19th Dec '06