Henry "Hank" Aaron: Sports and Recreation\Athlete\Baseball
Henry "Hank" Aaron: Presidential Medal of Freedom
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Delta Airlines, Inc.
Born Mobile, Alabama
“Hammering” Hank Aaron was one of the greatest players in major league history. He was scouted at sixteen and played Negro League baseball before signing with the Milwaukee (later, Atlanta) Braves, for whom he debuted in 1954. A perennial All-Star and the league MVP in 1957, Aaron was remarkably consistent: in a twenty-three-year major-league career he never hit more than fifty homers in a season but always ranked near the top of the hitting statistics. A compact six-footer, Aaron generated tremendous bat speed with his extraordinary reflexes. In 1974 he broke Babe Ruth’s seemingly impregnable record of 714 career home runs. Aaron’s chase of Ruth’s record generated some hate mail but was widely celebrated as a sign of racial progress in the New South. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982, Aaron has had an estimable post-baseball career doing charitable and civic work in Atlanta.
Bulgarian-born artist Ross Rossin met Aaron in Atlanta through the city’s former mayor, Andrew Young, whose portrait he also painted.
A legendary hitter who set records that remain unequaled to this day, Hank Aaron was one of baseball’s greatest offensive stars. Other players may have been more flamboyant, but none could match Aaron’s power and consistency during his twenty-three years in the majors. After launching his career with the Negro League’s Indianapolis Clowns in 1952, Aaron signed with the Boston Braves. His debut with the franchise came in 1954, following its move to Milwaukee. Aaron soon emerged as a tremendous asset to the ball club, and in 1957 his bat drove the Braves to a World Series victory over the Yankees. In the years that followed, Aaron’s impressive hitting fueled his assault on the record books, and in 1974 he became the first player to break Babe Ruth’s career record of 714 home runs. When Aaron retired from play in 1976, his home run mark stood at 755.
A legendary hitter who set records that remain unequalled to this day, Hank Aaron was one of baseball's greatest offensive stars. Other players may have been more flamboyant, but none could match Aaron's power and consistency during his twenty-three years in the majors. After launching his career with the Negro League's Indianapolis Clowns in 1952, Aaron signed with the Milwaukee Braves and joined their roster in 1954. He soon emerged as a tremendous asset to that ball club, and in 1957 his bat drove the Braves to a World Series victory over the Yankees. In the years that followed, Aaron's impressive hitting fueled his assault on the record books, and in 1974 he became the first player to break Babe Ruth's career record of 714 home runs. When Aaron retired from play in 1976, his home run mark stood at 755.
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Robert Weingarten Builds Hank Aaron's Portrait
Photographer Robert Weingarten meets baseball great Hank Aaron, photographs the objects Aaron chose to represent who he is, and digitally builds Aaron's portrait. Produced for the National Museum of American History's "Pushing Boundaries: Portraits by Robert Weingarten" exhibition, July 2-October 14, 2012. Learn more at http://americanhistory.si.edu/weingarten.
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
Sports & Leisure
This jersey was worn by major league outfielder Hank Arron (b. 1934) during the 1975-1976 season. Aaron is best remembered for breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974.
In 1954 Aaron left the Negro Leagues to join Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Braves (soon to become the Atlanta Braves: the team relocating in 1966.) He was traded to the Brewers in 1975, finishing his career the following season.
"Hammerin' Hank" was one of the most dominant players in league history. He was a 25 time All-Star, finishing with a lifetime batting average of .305, having 3,771 hits and 2,297 R.B.I.s. His 755 home runs surpassed Ruth's career total of 714, set in 1935 . Aaron held on to home run record until 2007, when it was surpassed by Barry Bonds.
Morgan Freeman: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Born Memphis, Tennessee
Handsome, lanky, and blessed with an immediately recognizable voice, Morgan Freeman is one of the most distinguished contemporary actors of both stage and screen. He won early plaudits in the plays Coriolanus (1980) and Driving Miss Daisy; he reprised his role in the latter in the 1989 movie adaptation. Freeman’s transition to film was seamless—he has also worked in television—and he was nominated several times for an Academy Award before winning an Oscar for his role in Million Dollar Baby (2004). Freeman works almost constantly, and among his more notable roles are as an African American soldier in the Civil War drama Glory (1989) and as the convict “Red” in the cult classic The Shawshank Redemption (1994), in which he also provides the narration. Freeman’s great pipes have made him a sought-after narrator of cartoons and documentaries. In 2007 he achieved a longtime dream by making a bio-pic about Nelson Mandela.
Administered by Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Authority 521 Capitol Avenue Atlanta Georgia
Located Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Atlanta Georgia
Commissioned 1981. Dedicated Sept. 7, 1982
Portrait male--Full length
Save Outdoor Sculpture, Georgia, Atlanta survey, 1994
A portrait of baseball player Hank Aaron depicted just after hitting a baseball, his bat swung over his proper left shoulder. He is dressed in his baseball uniform adorned on the front with the number 44. The sculpture is mounted on a square base
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
Remembering "Hammering" Hank Aaron's record-breaking home run
National Museum of American History
Smithsonian staff publications
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 07:40:00 -0400
Blog Post Category:
From the Collections
This baseball season marks the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-setting 715th home run. The feat, accomplished on April 8, 1974, established Aaron as Major League Baseball's all-time home run champion, besting Babe Ruth, who had last set the record in 1935. Finishing his career with 755, "The Hammer" was baseball's home run king until 2007, when Barry Bonds broke his record.
We are the ship : the story of Negro League baseball / words and paintings by Kadir Nelson ; forward by Hank Aaron
88 p. : col. ill. ; 29 x 29 cm
African American baseball players
Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson
“Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack, I don’t care if I never get back, Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, At the old […]