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Hank Aaron Biography for Kids

Early Life

Hank Aaron was born February 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama. He was the third of eight children. When his father took him to hear a speech given by Jackie Robinson, Hank committed himself to playing baseball. Aaron showed an early propensity for sports and played both baseball and football at Central High School in Mobile and Josephine Allen Institute, a private school. Aaron started played semi-pro baseball at age 15 and earned $10 per day playing for the Mobile Black Bears, an all Black baseball team. In 1951, Aaron was signed by the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Baseball League. In 1952, he helped his team to the Negro League World Series.

Called up to the Majors

Aaron became the last Negro League player to make the jump to the Major Leagues when he was signed by the Boston Braves in 1952. By the time that Aaron reached the majors, the Boston Braves had become the Milwaukee Braves. Aaron played brilliantly in the minor leagues and even became MVP of the South-Atlantic League despite being the constant target of prejudice. In 1954, the Boston Braves called him up to the Major Leagues when left-fielder Bobby Thompson broke his ankle. Despite going 0-5 in his major league debut (no hits in five at-bats), Aaron was in the majors to stay. During his first year, he batted .280 (this means he would average 28 hits per 100 at-bats) with 13 home runs. These totals were among the lowest of his amazing career. In 1955, Aaron made his first of 24 All-Star games and batted .314 with 27 home runs. Hank would hit 20 or more home runs for 20 consecutive years. The next year, in Aaron’s third year in the majors, he won the batting title with a .328 average. He was also named the Sporting News National League Player of the Year. 1957 would become one of the best years of his career. After being switched to cleanup (fourth in the batting order), Aaron responded with 44 home runs and 132 RBI’s (Runs Batted In – This means that as a result of something he did with the bat, like get a hit, sacrifice fly, ground out, or walk, a player(s) on his team scored). That year, he led the Milwaukee Braves to their only World Series title. In the years following the World Series, the Milwaukee Braves never again reached the playoffs. Nevertheless, Aaron continued to establish himself as one of the game’s great hitters and began amassing impressive batting statistics. In 1962, the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta and became the Atlanta Braves.

Home Run Record

Despite the move to Atlanta, the Braves never made another World Series during Aaron’s career. Many fans in Atlanta, however, were satisfied by watching Hank’s on-field heroics. In 1970, Hank became the first player in history to get 3,000 hits and 500 home runs in a career. By the end of 1973, he had accumulated 713 home runs. He was only two away from eclipsing the most hallowed record in American sports – Babe Ruth’s career home run record. On April 4, 1974, at the age of 40, Aaron hit a pitch from Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Al Downing over the left field fence in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium. He had broken Babe Ruth’s record. To this day, one of the most memorable highlights in sports history is the image of Aaron rounding second base with two fans running after him trying to congratulate him. After the 1974 season, Hank played two more years with the Milwaukee Brewers. He ended his career with 755 home runs (the record has now been eclipsed by Barry Bonds). He remains the all-time leader in RBI’s with 2,297. On August 1, 1982, Hank Aaron was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall-of-Fame. Both the Braves and Brewers retired (which means no one can wear it again) his uniform number “44”. Today, Turner Field (Atlanta’s new stadium) is located at 755 Hank Aaron Drive SE.

Statistics

Hank Aaron’s Career Batting Statistics
Year
Team
Lg
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
SLG
1954
MIL
NL
122
468
58
131
27
6
13
69
28
39
2
.280
.447
1955
MIL
NL
153
602
105
189
37
9
27
106
49
61
3
.314
.540
1956
MIL
NL
153
609
106
200
34
14
26
92
37
54
2
.328
.558
1957
MIL
NL
151
615
118
198
27
6
44
132
57
58
1
.322
.600
1958
MIL
NL
153
601
109
196
34
4
30
95
59
49
4
.326
.546
1959
MIL
NL
154
629
116
223
46
7
39
123
51
54
8
.355
.636
1960
MIL
NL
153
590
102
172
20
11
40
126
60
63
16
.292
.566
1961
MIL
NL
155
603
115
197
39
10
34
120
56
64
21
.327
.594
1962
MIL
NL
156
592
127
191
28
6
45
128
66
73
15
.323
.618
1963
MIL
NL
161
631
121
201
29
4
44
130
78
94
31
.319
.586
1964
MIL
NL
145
570
103
187
30
2
24
95
62
46
22
.328
.514
1965
MIL
NL
150
570
109
181
40
1
32
89
60
81
24
.318
.560
1966
ATL
NL
158
603
117
168
23
1
44
127
76
96
21
.279
.539
1967
ATL
NL
155
600
113
184
37
3
39
109
63
97
17
.307
.573
1968
ATL
NL
160
606
84
174
33
4
29
86
64
62
28
.287
.498
1969
ATL
NL
147
547
100
164
30
3
44
97
87
47
9
.300
.607
1970
ATL
NL
150
516
103
154
26
1
38
118
74
63
9
.298
.574
1971
ATL
NL
139
495
95
162
22
3
47
118
71
58
1
.327
.669
1972
ATL
NL
129
449
75
119
10
0
34
77
92
55
4
.265
.514
1973
ATL
NL
120
392
84
118
12
1
40
96
68
51
1
.301
.643
1974
ATL
NL
112
340
47
91
16
0
20
69
39
29
1
.268
.491
1975
MIL
AL
137
465
45
109
16
2
12
60
70
51
0
.234
.355
1976
MIL
AL
85
271
22
62
8
0
10
35
35
38
0
.229
.369
3298
12364
2174
3771
624
98
755
2297
1402
1383
240
.305
.555
Year
Team
Lg
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
SLG

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