Today, Congressman David Scott (GA-13), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, was joined by members of the Georgia delegation in introducing a resolution honoring the life and legacy of the late Henry “Hank” Louis Aaron, who would have celebrated his 89th birthday on February 5, 2023.
“I, along with fellow representatives from the great state of Georgia, am deeply privileged to introduce this resolution to honor the illustrious accomplishments of legendary baseball player Hank Aaron,” said Congressman David Scott. “My wife, Alfredia, was Hank Aaron’s sister and we are personally honored to recognize a man who was family to us and a hero to millions of Americans. While being an all-time great player, Hank’s impact is felt far beyond the confines of the ballpark. His presence within the civil rights movement served as a living example of the greatness that is possible when Americans are guaranteed equal footing to pursue their dreams. While we miss Hank every day, we know that his work to advance equality and achieve excellence will reverberate throughout the country for generations to come.”
The introduction of this resolution was applauded by the Braves organization, which stated, “Hank Aaron was not only an icon of the Atlanta Braves, but one across the baseball community around the world. His incredible accomplishments on the field were matched with his community efforts and philanthropy away from the baseball diamond, which made him truly one-of-kind. We are proud to see Congressman David Scott honor Hank’s legacy with this very special resolution.”
Born in Mobile, Alabama in 1934, Hank Aaron grew up during the height of the Jim Crow era. He began his professional baseball career playing in the Negro Leagues before he was eventually signed to the Milwaukee Braves. He then moved with the Braves to Atlanta, Georgia in 1966 where he would play for the majority of his career.
Mr. Aaron is perhaps best known for his pursuit of the Major League Baseball (MLB) all-time homerun record set at 714 by Babe Ruth, thought by many to be unbreakable. On April 8, 1974, Mr. Aaron hit the record breaking 715th homerun in front of a sold-out crowd at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Mr. Aaron retired as baseball’s all-time homerun leader, a record he held for another 33 years. He remains the MLB all-time leader in career runs batted in (RBIs), career total bases, and career extra base hits.
Throughout his career, Mr. Aaron faced racism and discrimination, including outright death threats during his homerun chase. As an African-American player in the South, he was in a unique position to advance the cause of equality through his actions both on and off the field. Mr. Aaron poured significant resources and energy into the civil rights movement, including his longtime support of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), his relationship with civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his creation of the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, an organization committed to ensuring that children of all backgrounds can fulfill their full potential.
The text of the resolution can be found here.