Former baseball players and current Tri-State residents speak out on Hank Aaron’s impact

Local

EVANSVILLE (WEHT)- Henry “Hank” Aaron left a legacy in the baseball industry. He was known as one of the greatest players of all time. Aaron went down in history as the one who broke Babe Ruth’s record. Aaron passed away on Friday at the age of 86.

Bill McKeon, a former Braves player, said he knew Hank during the earlier stages of his career. McKeon said he’s played ball, been a scout, and a coach in his sports career. He’s known Aaron for years.

“He was a very cool, calm, non-aggressive player,” McKeon said.

Aaron’s time in the major leagues lasted more than two decades. He played with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and also the Milwaukee Brewers. Along the way, he inspired many other players around him looking to make it in the baseball industry. One of those was Bob Hansen, who said he met Aaron in the 1970s for spring training.

“He’d get along with everybody. Everybody deferred to him because well, he was Hank Aaron. It was a good time,” Hansen said.

This isn’t the only loss the baseball hall of fame has recently seen. Tommy Lasorda and Don Sutton recently passed away. McKeon said seeing these losses hits differently and more personal because of the time they spent together.

“It’s personal because I knew most of these people. It’s not just reading about them in the newspapers or seeing them on TV. I personally knew them,” McKeon said.

(This story was originally published on January 22, 2021)

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