(KRON) — Baseball Hall of Famer Henry “Hank” Aaron has died at age 86, the Atlanta Braves confirmed.
Aaron was a Rightfielder and played his last MLB game in 1976. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame just a few years later in 1982.
The Alabama-born athlete was an inspiration for other legends like Muhammad Ali, who had said Aaron is “the only man I idolize more than myself,” according to baseball.org.
Before breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record and attaining the National League MVP Award, Aaron had played in the Negro Leagues and minor leagues. He also led the Braves to a World Series Championship.
The 86-year-old had spoken with The Associated Press in early January after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia:
Getting vaccinated “makes me feel wonderful,” Aaron told The Associated Press. “I don’t have any qualms about it at all, you know. I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this. … It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.”
Aaron and his wife, Billye Suber Aaron, were recruited by civil rights leader Andrew Young to get their shots with him. The Aarons, for their part, have given more money to the medical school than the slugger made in his last five years of playing baseball, Young had said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.