Henry "Hank" Aaron, the MLB Hall of Famer who played 21 seasons for the Braves and formerly held the record for career home runs, died age 86 on Friday morning.
CBS46 News Atlanta first reported the news, but a cause of death was not provided. WSB-TV 2 Atlanta reports that his passing was confirmed by his daughter. Former Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig, who had been friends with Aaron for 63 years, said he heard from the baseball legend's longtime assistant that he died from a stroke.
"I'm absolutely heartbroken; heart sick," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "This is so devastating. ... When you think back to what he accomplished on the field, he was an even greater man off it. He was the same nice, wonderfully decent human being that I first met in 1958."
Aaron first got his start in the MLB at the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in '54, playing with the team for 21 seasons. He wrapped up his playing career at the Milwaukee Brewers in '76. Ultimately, he held the record for career home runs for 33 years, and still has a number of MLB offensive records to his name. In the later years of his life, he served as the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves.
Earlier this month, he received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. "I don’t have any qualms about it at all, you know," he said of the vaccine, which he and civil rights leaders publicly received in hopes of letting Black Americans know the vaccine is safe, Associated Press reported. "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."