Aaron — who was widely known as “Hammerin’ Hank” — passed away on Friday morning and was considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
Aaron had just received his COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month and he explained that everyone should get the shot when it is available.
"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," he told The Associated Press.
The athlete had quite a career that spanned over 23 years. From 1954 to 1976, he played for the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves and ended his career with the Brewers.
Aaron also was a 25-time All-Star, an MVP and a three-time Gold Glove, but the most astounding accolade was that he ended his career as Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader with 755, beating New York Yankees player Babe Ruth. At the time, Aaron received death threats for the historic achievement.
Aaron’s son Lary, who was 16 at the time, said he was nervous after his dad made the hit. “When the guys ran out on the field, it was the most scary part,” he said. “We didn’t know who they were.”
Later on, Barry Bonds surpassed Aaron’s record.
Aaron, who was born in Alabama, was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1982, and he still holds the all-time record for RBI with 2,297.
Despite all of his accomplishments, Aaron remained humble.
“My hope is one day people will judge me by character rather than by the context of my color. And I think when that day comes, that’s the day I’m going to say ‘Hallelujah’,” Aaron said.
“God put you here for a reason. And the reason he put you here is not for you to stand still. He put you here to make you understand that ... you gotta do all you can to try and make things better for other people,” he added.