ATLANTA (CNN/AP) — As his adopted hometown mourned Hank Aaron’s death, some fans called on the Atlanta Braves to change their name to the Hammers in his honor.
“Hammerin’ Hank” died in his sleep Friday at age 86, drawing praise from all segments of society including the current and former presidents.
Aaron’s career not only broke records, but also shattered racial barriers as fought an uphill battle against racism in sports and society as a whole.
Many baseball fans considered “the Hammer” to be the best who ever played the game. By the time his Major League Baseball career ended in 1976, he had set 13 records including most games, at bats, total bases and RBIs.
But it was his 715th home run on April 8, 1974, for which he will be remembered the most. That home run broke the record previously held by Yankees legend Babe Ruth.
He was born in Mobile, Alabama during the height of the Great Depression. After his retirement, he moved into the Atlanta Braves front office as the director of player development and later became a senior vice president.
Flags in Georgia and Alabama are flying at half-staff in honor of Aaron.
Some fans want his longtime team, the Braves, to drop a nickname they consider offensive to Native Americans. They say the Hammers is a logical replacement.