Following are some of the reactions to the death of baseball’s Hank Aaron, who died on Friday at the age of 86.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER ROBERT MANFRED
“Hank Aaron is near the top of everyone’s list of all-time great players. His monumental achievements as a player were surpassed only by his dignity and integrity as a person.
“Hank symbolized the very best of our game, and his all-around excellence provided Americans and fans across the world with an example to which to aspire. His career demonstrates that a person who goes to work with humility every day can hammer his way into history – and find a way to shine like no other.”
ATLANTA BRAVES CHAIRMAN TERRY MCGUIRK
“He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature.”
NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME CHAIRMAN JANE FORBES CLARK
“Hank Aaron’s incredible talent on the baseball field was only matched by his dignity and character, which shone brightly, not only here in Cooperstown, but with every step he took.
“His courage while pursuing the game’s all-time home run record served as an example for millions of people inside and outside of the sports world, who were also aspiring to achieve their greatest dreams.”
BASKETBALL HALL OF FAMER MAGIC JOHNSON
“I still remember where I was back in the day when he set the record, at that time, to become the home run all time leader … Hank Aaron is on the Mount Rushmore for the greatest baseball players of all time!”
THREE-TIME WORLD SERIES CHAMPION DAVID ORTIZ
“A legend on and off the ball field… the best to ever do it… RIP Mr Hank Aaron.”
ATLANTA MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS
“While the world knew him as ‘Hammering Hank Aaron’ because of his incredible, record-setting baseball career, he was a cornerstone of our village, graciously and freely joining Mrs. Aaron in giving their presence and resources toward making our city a better place.”
“Our great game will forever be indebted to Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, an American Hero who served as a champion for civil rights and an exemplary ambassador for Major League Baseball throughout his Hall of Fame career and his entire life.”
U.S. SENATOR CORY BOOKER
“Hank Aaron was not only a home run king, but a king of justice. In the face of racism and vitriol, he broke through barriers with grace on his way to becoming one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. We’ve lost a true trailblazer and American icon.”
FORMER MLB COMMISSIONER BUD SELIG
“Besides being one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Hank was a wonderful and dear person and a wonderful and dear friend.
“Not long ago, he and I were walking the streets of Washington, D.C., together and talking about how we’ve been the best of friends for more than 60 years. Then Hank said: ‘Who would have ever thought all those years ago that a black kid from Mobile, Alabama, would break Babe Ruth’s home run record and a Jewish kid from Milwaukee would become the Commissioner of Baseball?'”
PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK WARREN MOON
“My heartfelt prayers go out to the Hank Aaron family as a sports icon passed away today! Not only was he an unbelievable baseball player, he was extremely humble, very philanthropic, and a mentor for thousands of athletes in all sports. RIP Hammerin Hank.” (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Howard Goller)