Hank Aaron (Web Photo)

Fifty years ago, the sports world watched in awe as Hank Aaron shattered baseball’s most hallowed record, cementing his place as one of the game’s greatest legends. To celebrate the anniversary of that historic moment, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum plans to immortalize Aaron’s legacy with a monumental tribute.

In conjunction with the opening events for the new exhibit, “More Than Brave: The Life of Henry Aaron,” at the Atlanta History Center, Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark announced plans to unveil a bronze statue of Aaron at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on May 23. The statue honors Aaron’s remarkable contributions both on and off the field.

“Hank Aaron’s impact transcended the game of baseball,” Clark stated. “His philanthropy, advocacy for youth empowerment, and trailblazing achievements as an executive have left an indelible mark on society. We are privileged to safeguard his legacy and are honored to unveil this statue as a lasting tribute to an American hero.”

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Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982 after a 23-year career with the Braves and Brewers, Aaron’s legacy extends far beyond his monumental 715th career home run, which surpassed Babe Ruth’s record on April 8, 1974. A 25-time All-Star, Aaron still holds records for the most career RBIs and total bases.

Just how good was Aaron? Even if all his 755 career home runs were removed from the record books, he would still boast over 3,000 hits. The slugger, who died in 2021, made the All-Star team 25 times, established a record with 2,297 RBIs, 1,477 extra-base hits, and 6,856 total bases.

Officials displayed Aaron’s Hall of Fame plaque during a Truist Park ceremony before the Atlanta Braves game against the New York Mets. The statue’s creation was made possible through a generous gift from supporters Jane and Bob Crotty, with the guidance and approval of Aaron’s widow, Billye. The statue will debut during the Hall of Fame Classic celebration over Memorial Day Weekend, coinciding with the May 25 Legends game featuring numerous former big leaguers at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field.

“Henry would be as thrilled as I am to see his statue at the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” expressed Billye Aaron. “His life embodied hope and perseverance, inspiring generations to pursue their dreams despite obstacles. This tribute is a testament to his love for the game and his desire to inspire young boys and girls everywhere.”

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has remained dedicated to preserving Aaron’s legacy, including the exhibit “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream,” unveiled in 2009. Additionally, Aaron pledged his entire personal collection to the Museum in 2010, with many artifacts now on loan to various exhibitions, including the one at the Atlanta History Center.

The U.S. Postal Service announced that it will issue a commemorative Forever stamp to celebrate Aaron’s life and career further. The stamp art will feature a digital painting of Aaron as a member of the Braves. USPS said in a statement, “The selvage showcases a digital painting of Aaron watching the ball he had just hit for his record-breaking 715th home run on April 8, 1974.”