Hank Aaron – quiet dignity, quiet strength

I had planned to write a tribute post to baseball’s legendary Henry (Hank) Aaron this afternoon, but as often happens when great minds think alike, Keith was on the same page, only he beat me to the punch and did it every bit as well as I could have. Thank you, Keith, for this lovely tribute to a man who was not only a great baseball player, but also a great human being.


A great baseball player passed away yesterday. His name was Henry Aaron, but he went by Hank. He was a very quiet man growing up in the south in the middle of the Jim Crow era. But, arguably he is on a very short list of the greatest baseball players ever.

Rather than bore non-baseball fans with endless statistics indicating how great he was, let me focus on how poorly this African-American was treated as he chased records set by white ball players. He received multiple death threats and family kidnapping threats and was openly called the N word both aloud and within the many letters of vicious hate mail.

Like Jackie Robinson before him, he took all of this with quiet dignity and a heavy dose of quiet strength. Racism and bigotry was dumped on this man like garbage. But, he stood strong.

When he chased the greatest of…

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15 thoughts on “Hank Aaron – quiet dignity, quiet strength

  1. Wow, more got posted than I wrote. Jill, could you please delete the section starting from “Skip to primary content” to “at 11:46 pm said:
    I obviously copied way more than I thought. Sorry.

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  2. Speaking of reblogs, this comment is a repost of the comment I left on Keith’s blog. It mainly concerns the history of blacks in the Sport of Kings–thouroughbred racing followed with a shout out to a great Canadian jockey who made it big in the States, mostly California. I put it here, in full, plus a bit, in case your readers do not travel to Keith’s blog for the whole story.

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  3. Jill, thanks for the reblog and the kind words. Aaron paved the way for other minority players with his dignity, strength, professionalism and success. He was a class act and later became a baseball executive, as a result. Keith

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