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K00185 Summary:

MLTSPNSRAbbate, Angelino, Aubry, Barclay, Barron, Brabenec, Braunstein, Burdick, Buttenschon, Byrne, Cusick, Cymbrowitz, Darling, DeStefano, Dinowitz, Durso, Englebright, Epstein, Fitzpatrick, Galef, Gandolfo, Giglio JM, Glick, Gottfried, Griffin, Hevesi, Jackson, Jean-Pierre, Lavine, Lawler, Lunsford, Lupardo, Magnarelli, McDonald, McDonough, Miller B, Montesano, Norris, Paulin, Perry, Rosenthal L, Salka, Seawright, Sillitti, Simon, Stern, Tague, Taylor, Thiele
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K00185 Text:

Assembly Resolution No. 185
BY: M. of A. Solages
        MOURNING   the  death  of  Hammerin'  Hank  Aaron,
        long-standing  Home  Run  King  for   Major   League
        Baseball, role model and humanitarian
  WHEREAS,  It  is  the  sense of this Legislative Body to acknowledge
outstanding  athletes   who   distinguish   themselves   through   their
exceptional performance, attaining unprecedented success and the highest
level of personal achievement; and
  WHEREAS,  It  is  with  great  sorrow  and  deep  regret  that  this
Legislative  Body  records  the  passing  of  Hank  Aaron,  noting   the
significance of his purposeful life and accomplishments; and
  WHEREAS,  Widely  regarded  as  one  of  the  most  significant  and
celebrated sporting figures of the 20th  Century,  Hank  Aaron  died  on
Friday, January 22, 2021, at his home in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of
86; and
  WHEREAS,  Henry  Louis  Aaron  was  born  to Estella (Pritchett) and
Herbert Aaron, Sr. on February 5, 1934, in Mobile, Alabama, and grew  up
in  the  neighborhood of Toulminville, where he practiced his swing with
things he found on the streets; and
  WHEREAS, Hank Aaron was a Boy Scout and attended Central High School
as a freshman and a sophomore, and played outfield and  third  base  for
the  Mobile  Black  Bears,  an  independent  Negro league team, where he
quickly established himself as a long ball threat; and
  WHEREAS, At the young age of  15,  Hank  Aaron  tried  out  for  the
Brooklyn Dodgers; although he did not make the team, it sparked the fire
for  his later career; he went back to school and attended the Josephine
Allen Institute, followed by Central  High  School;  during  his  junior
year,  he played for the Pritchett Athletics, and once again, the Mobile
Black Bears; and
  WHEREAS,  On  November  20,  1951,  Hank  Aaron  signed   with   the
Indianapolis  Clowns  of  the Negro American League, where he played for
three months; during this time, he recorded a .366 batting average in 26
games, with five home runs, 33 RBI, 41 hits, and nine stolen bases; and
  WHEREAS, The slugger's exemplary play drew attention from two  Major
League Baseball (MLB) teams, the New York Giants, and the Boston Braves,
the  team  he would ultimately sign with; he was assigned to the Braves'
Northern League Class-C farm team, the Eau Claire Bears,  and  continued
to excel at the bat and in the field; and
  WHEREAS,  At  the  end of the season, Hank Aaron was selected to the
Northern League's All-Star team and was named Rookie of the Year; in his
87 games, he logged a .336 batting average, scored 89 runs, and had  116
hits, nine home runs, and 61 RBI; and
  WHEREAS, In 1953, the Braves promoted Hank Aaron to the Jacksonville
Braves,  their  Class-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, and once
again,  he  proved  his  worth  by  helping  the  team  win  the  league
championship  that  year;  he  led the league in runs (115), hits (208),
doubles (36), RBI (125), total bases (338), and batting average  (.362),
and won the league's Most Valuable Player Award; and
  WHEREAS, In that same year, Hank Aaron's personal life was also at a
high  when  he  married  the  former  Barbara  Lucas on October 6th, and
together, they raised four children; on November 13,  1973,  he  married
his second wife, Billye Suber Williams and they had one child; and
  WHEREAS, In 1954, Hank Aaron signed a major league contract with the
Milwaukee  Braves  and  began  with  a  rocky  start; after changing his
uniform number from five to 44, his luck  took  a  turn,  and  he  never
looked  back, hitting .314 with 27 home runs and 106 RBI in 1955; he was
named to the National League (NL) All-Star roster for the first time and
it was the first of a record 21  All-Star  selections  and  first  of  a
record 25 All-Star Game appearances; and
  WHEREAS,  On  September  23,  1957,  in  Milwaukee, Hank Aaron hit a
two-run walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals, clinching the
pennant for the Braves; in October, he hit .393 with  three  homers  and
seven RBI to win the World Series against the New York Yankees; and
  WHEREAS,  Hank Aaron's MLB career continued to flourish, and through
the years, he continued to knock balls out of the park and  his  hitting
average  was  always  above 300; he was the recipient of numerous awards
and accolades including two NL batting  titles,  The  Sporting  News  NL
Player  of  the  Year,  and  a NL MVP Award, as well as three Gold Glove
Awards; and
  WHEREAS, After the 1965 season, the  Braves  moved  to  Atlanta  and
during  the  1968 season, he was the first player to mark 500 home runs;
two years later, he was the first Brave to record 3,000 career hits; and
  WHEREAS, On July 13, 1971, Hank Aaron hit a home run in the All-Star
Game, and hit his 40th home run of the  season  on  August  10th,  which
established  a  NL record for most seasons with 40 or more home runs; at
the age of 37, he hit a career-high  47  home  runs  and  .669  slugging
percentage during the season; and
  WHEREAS,  1972  was  another  sensational  year  for  Hank Aaron; he
surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home  run  list  in
1972,  drove  in  the  2,000th  run of his career, hit a home run in the
first All-Star game, broke the record for total  stolen  bases  (6,134),
and hit his 673th home run; and
  WHEREAS,  At  this  point,  Hank Aaron was closing in on Babe Ruth's
home run record; in front of a huge home field crowd of 53,775 fans,  he
hit  home run number 715 in the fourth inning to best the Great Bambino;
  WHEREAS, Hank Aaron hit his 733rd home run in his last at bat  as  a
Braves  player  on October 2, 1974, and one month later, he was acquired
by the Milwaukee Brewers; on May 1, 1975, he broke  baseball's  all-time
RBI record, and that year, he played in his last and 24th All-Star Game;
  WHEREAS,  On  July 20, 1976, Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home
run at Milwaukee County Stadium, which stood as the MLB career home  run
record until it was broken in 2007; and
  WHEREAS,  Throughout  his  exemplary  career,  Hank Aaron recorded a
batting average of .305 with 163 hits a season, while hitting an average
of just over 32 home runs a year and 99 RBI; and
  WHEREAS, After his retirement from the game, Hank Aaron worked as an
executive with the Braves, and served as the corporate vice president of
community relations  for  TBS,  a  member  of  the  company's  board  of
directors and the vice president of business development for The Airport
Network;  in  1982, he became the Braves' vice president and director of
player development; and
  WHEREAS, Always aware of the trials and tribulations he endured as a
young player, Hank Aaron was instrumental in establishing programs which
encouraged minorities to play baseball and founded the Hank Aaron Rookie
League program; and
  WHEREAS, On August  1,  1982,  the  Hammer  was  inducted  into  the
Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, with 97.8 percent of the
ballots;  each year, thousands of people flock to Otsego County to honor
his legacy and pay homage to this great sports icon; and
  WHEREAS, Hank Aaron published his autobiography  entitled  I  Had  a
Hammer   in  1990,  and  became  an  entrepreneur,  owning  various  car
dealerships in Georgia and numerous restaurants throughout the  country;
  WHEREAS, Predeceased by his son, Gary, Hank Aaron is survived by his
loving wife, Billye; their two sons, Hank Jr. and Lary; three daughters,
Gaie,  Dorinda  and  Ceci,  as well as numerous fans, friends and fellow
athletes who will long cherish his memory; and
  WHEREAS, A gifted athlete, Hank Aaron was a renowned legend  in  the
sport  of  baseball;  after  more  than  two  decades, his character and
achievements stand as a sterling example  and  inspiration  to  all  who
would  aspire  to succeed; he will be deeply missed and truly merits the
grateful tribute of this Legislative Body; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its  deliberations  to
mourn  the death of Hammerin' Hank Aaron, longstanding Home Run King for
Major League Baseball, role model and humanitarian, and to  express  its
deepest condolences to his family; and be it further
  RESOLVED,  That  a  copy  of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of Henry Louis Aaron.
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