There are so few living legends these days. However, if you are a fan of baseball, then you only have a few legends left from the days before there were discussions about steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. However, there are some still alive, still active, and whose names still bring about hushed reverence. One of the prime examples, a name known from around the world, is Hank Aaron.
While so many remember the name Jackie Robinson when it comes to the color barrier being broken in major league baseball, few remember that Aaron was right there, on the front line during that time. In fact, there was a time when many thought Aaron might break Babe Ruth’s home run record for a single season, which engendered threats against his life. It seemed particularly certain that this would happen in 1973. During the last game of the season Aaron it looked like he would tie the Bambino’s record. He had amassed 713 homers so far, and it seemed likely that he would be able to hit more to beat the record. When the season ended and he had not broken the record, the ultimately told reporters that he feared for his life. It turned out, there were others who worried about that as well.
Hank Aaron made sure that the color barriers that Jackie Robinson helped start to knock down stayed down. All the while he continued to give outstanding play on the field, while behind the scenes his team had to deal with things like death threats and the press that covered his accomplishments had to do the same.
Aaron spent his career playing for the Atlanta Braves, which put him right in the deep south. That meant that anytime he stepped off the field, there were plenty who were against him and it was dangerous just to walk down the street. It was really only a matter of time before Aaron would do just that. He hit the record-breaking homerun, number 715, against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 8, 1974. He did more impressive things while on a baseball field, and eventually, he retired. When that happened, Hammerin’ Hank turned his attention towards furthering the cause of baseball around the world.
Today, Aaron runs an organization that attempts to unite the world via children around the world through playing baseball. He has even teamed up with sluggers from all over the world, such as Japan, to help create baseball camps for young men and women around the world. Aaron was also one of the biggest supporters of Barry Bonds when Bonds broke Aaron’s home run record.
Hank Aaron remains a legend., he has not let his age slow him down and he continues to promote baseball around the world. He often teams up with his fellow legend Sadaharu Oh, who actually has more career home runs than Aaron. They travel around the world, promoting baseball as a way to united the world. They sponsor games and tournaments for children and young people interested in the game, and bring cultures with differing languages and beliefs in the common bond of sport.