Farewell, Hammerin’ Hank

I know I’m over a day late in this (I had to deal with some unexpected shit yesterday when the news broke), but better late than never when it comes to paying respects to Hall of Famer, baseball/sports legend, and civil rights advocate Hank Aaron.

Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic and his take on Aaron’s career and legacy is miles better than what I would’ve said (because, I’ll admit, I haven’t fully followed his story outside his home run milestone):

…Many of us never saw Aaron hit a home run in person. We did not need to see that to fully appreciate and understand his legacy. Aaron was a Black man who made people feel threatened as he closed in on surpassing the shiny piece of Americana who was Babe Ruth as the greatest to ever hit a baseball over a fence. It all comes back to the fact that Aaron was unfairly vilified for simply living and working while Black, something that still goes on today…

…Hank Aaron had to be perfect. He had to do everything right with the idea that for some, he’d still be in the wrong. Even with that, there was a regality to his approach. It was knowing he always had to be “on” even when he had every right to not be. Yes, we celebrate the records and winning, but it was his dignity that made him so inspiring…You think, “He dealt with so much worse and did it with strength. Why can’t I?”…

Keep hammering those homers in heaven, Hank! You will be sorely missed.