We can all honor Hank Aaron by investing in our kids

Published 9:18 pm Friday, January 22, 2021

Hank Aaron had one goal when he stepped up to the plate to face the opposing team’s pitcher, to rip the cover off of the baseball.

He sweetly unleashed power and sent baseballs over outfield walls. Aaron racked up 755 home runs and broke the great Babe Ruth’s home run record of 714.

Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1934 and no doubt had to overcome racism as a child. In 1952, he played in the Negro leagues for Indianapolis Clowns because America was not ready to have people of different pigments on the baseball field.

Even when Aaron was slugging away and inching closer to the home run record he received death threats. The threats came was a decade after the signing of the Civil Rights act of 1964 because of the color of his skin.

Yet, he overcame that racism, he rose above the hatred written to him in death threats. To millions of young men in America Aaron was the ideal baseball player. He is why those same men who probably have grey hair have fallen in love with the game and the sounds of summer.

Aaron’s legacy will always be more than about baseball because of what he chose to do off of the ball field. He gave his time and money to underprivileged proof, and a few weeks ago received a COVID Vaccine to encourage others to do the same.

Natchez shares a love for the game with Aaron. The city was once the home of the semi-pro baseball team called the Natchez Indians in the early 1950’s. It has an opportunity to create a home for a new generation of baseball players, by investing in the game and in the youth like Concordia Parish did with their facility in Vidalia.

Adams County and Natchez working together to upgrade the facilities at Liberty Park would not just be a great way to honor Aaron’s legacy of philanthropy, but it would knock the ball out of the park.