All-Star Honors Hank Aaron

All-Star Honors Hank Aaron

After leaving Atlanta, MLB honored the late Hall of Famer.

Hall of Famer Hank Aaron of Atlanta honored by MLB.
Hall of Famer Hank Aaron of Atlanta honored by MLB.

Before the start of this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Denver July 13, the MLB honored Hall of Famer Hank Aaron of Atlanta. With Aaron’s wife Billye in attendance, a video was played remembering Aaron’s career and life as well as his number 44 embedded into the grass at his right-field position.

Billye was also presented with a number of items honoring her husband and received a standing ovation. Aaron’s number was also worn by players during workouts and the home run derby, though not during the All-Star Game itself.

Aaron is recognized not only as one of baseball’s finest players, but also for his work in Atlanta and the civil rights movement.

Later during the game, only one Atlanta Braves player started for the National League, with Freddie Freeman at first base for his fifth All-Star Game. And while Ronald Acuna Jr. was expected to play outfield, an injury put him out for the game and the rest of the regular season.

Ozzie Albies came off the bench in the sixth inning and played second base. While the National League lost to the American League 5 to 2, both Freeman and Albies went 1 for 2, the only pair of National League teammates to get hits.

The game was initially scheduled to take place in Atlanta, but it was moved after recent voting legislation was signed into law, which opponents say echoes Jim Crow era tactics and enables voter suppression.

The Job Creators Network, formed by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, had tried to halt the move, suing the MLB, but the case was dismissed. JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz released a statement leading up to the game. “One city should never benefit from the unjustified hardship of another. Denver is benefitting from the All-Star Game after a terrible pandemic, but it shouldn’t be on the backs of Atlanta small businesses. The MLB chose to punish Atlanta small businesses in an act of reckless virtue-signaling. …The dreams of thousands of Atlanta small businesses were real, and the sounds of those crashing dreams are equally real. …This is a sad day for America’s pastime – a shameful day.”

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