Hammerin’ Hank

Thirty-five years ago, Hank Aaron broke the Great Bambino's home run record. He's been repeatedly honored and celebrated, and even as his record fades, there is no diminishing his achievement. A look back at how the Hammer nailed his place in history.

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  • The 715th Wonder

    The 715th Wonder

    On April 8, 1974, Aaron and the Braves faced the Dodgers in a nationally televised game; in the fourth inning, during his second at bat, he hit his 715th record-breaking home run.

  • Flashing Lights

    Flashing Lights

    Aaron didn’t consider himself a celebrity athlete. But what he lacked in flash and charisma, he made up for it with his performance at bat.

  • The Great Bambino, The Sultan of Swat, The Colossus of Clout

    The Great Bambino, The Sultan of Swat, The Colossus of Clout

    For decades, the idea of breaking Babe Ruth’s record seemed as credible as the idea that a black person could be elected president of the United States.

  • High-Flying Honors

    High-Flying Honors

    President Bill Clinton gives Hank Aaron the Presidential Citizens Medal award on Jan. 8, 2001.

  • Not to be Outdone

    Not to be Outdone

    President George W. Bush presents Aaron with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award on July 9, 2002.

  • Grand Slammers

    Grand Slammers

    Barry Bonds stands with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays during a pre-ceremony honoring Bonds for hitting his 600th home run at Pacific Bell Park in 2002.

  • Bust it Out the Park

    Bust it Out the Park

    At Turner Field in Atlanta, a statue honors No. 44 and his 20-year career with the Braves.

  • Swing Batter, Batter!

    Swing Batter, Batter!

    Because of the era in which he played and the grace he brought to the game, Aaron will always be the Home Run King.

  • Groundbreaking Records

    Groundbreaking Records

    He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982, on the first ballot, with 97.8 percent of the vote, second only to Ty Cobb.

  • Brother on the Wall

    Brother on the Wall

    Aaron ended his career with

    755 home runs and 3,771 hits. Thirty three years after he retired, he remains the all-time leader in RBIs with 2,297.

  • Forget the Bonds, Remember Hank!

    Forget the Bonds, Remember Hank!

    Fans hold up signs in favor of Hank Aaron over San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds during a game at Turner Field on Aug. 14, 2007.

  • Flying High

    Flying High

    Billye Aaron, Hank Aaron and Delta Air Lines CFO Ed Bastian pose for photos after Aaron’s photo was unveiled on a Boeing 757 on June 18, 2007.