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Hank Aaron

Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron (born February 5, 1934), baseball player and member of the United States Baseball Hall of Fame, is best known for setting the record for most home runs in a career (755), surpassing the previous mark of 714 by Babe Ruth.

He was born in Mobile, Alabama.

Aaron was a star outfielder with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, a perennial All-Star, and the National League Most Valuable Player in 1957. In his career, he was selected to a record 24 All-Star Game appearances. He also won three Gold Glove Awards as an outfielder.

Aaron's first team was the semi-pro Birmingham Black Bears, but he was acquired in 1951 by the Negro American League[?] champion Indianapolis Clowns[?] after the Black Bears played an exhibition against the Clowns the previous year. The Clowns won the Negro League World Series in 1952 and Aaron's contract was acquired by the Braves, then still in Boston.

He and teammates Eddie Mathews[?] and Warren Spahn[?] led Milwaukee to pennants in 1957 and 1958 and defeated the New York Yankees in the 1957 World Series[?].

He played most of his prime in Milwaukee's County Stadium, which was a poor home-run park. When the team moved to Atlanta, Aaron's home run output increased (Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium -- notoriously friendly to hitters -- was nicknamed "The Launching Pad"). His hallmark was consistency: his best home run season was "only" 47 (in 1971), but he sustained high levels of production for over 20 years. This enabled him to approach the home run record in the early 1970s.

As a 39-year-old, Aaron hit exactly 40 home runs in 1973, ending the season with a career mark of 713. Over the winter, Aaron endured death threats and a barrage of hate mail from people who did not want to see a black man break Ruth's home run record. However, when this harassment became widely known, the ball player enjoyed a massive flood of public support motivated at least partially to counter the bigotry. In the beginning 1974 season, Hank Aaron broke the record with a home run in Atlanta off Los Angeles pitcher Al Downing.

Although he is rightly proud of his record, Aaron has numerous other baseball records including Total Bases, a record he is particularly proud of because he feels it more accurately acknowledges his valuable contribution to his team.

Aaron now works as an executive with the Atlanta Braves organization.

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