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File #: 210015    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 1/28/2021 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 2/4/2021
Title: Honoring Henry Aaron for a lifetime of pioneering achievements as a professional athlete and civil rights champion.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Thomas
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 21001500, 2. Signature21001500
Honoring Henry Aaron for a lifetime of pioneering achievements as a professional athlete and civil rights champion.

WHEREAS, Henry "Hank" Aaron was born in Mobile, Atlanta, where he grew up in a segregated neighborhood. Aaron was a hard worker at a young age. His parents had very little money and took on various jobs to support the family; and

WHEREAS, In his junior year of high school, Aaron transferred to Allen Institute in Mobile, which happened to have an organized baseball program. After graduating from Allen Institute in Mobile, he played with local amateur and semi-pro teams such as the Pritchett Athletics and the Mobile Black Bears. In 1951, Aaron was recruited by the owner of the Indianapolis Clowns, where he was signed as a Clowns shortstop in 1952. Due to his outstanding batting skills, a Boston Braves scout purchased his contract with the Indianapolis Clowns for the following season. He spent 21 of his 23 baseball seasons with the Braves organization; and

WHEREAS, Aaron's career was one of the greatest in baseball history. Most notably, he broke all-time records for home runs and RBIs held by Babe Ruth, and previously considered unbreakable. He also received the National League Most Valuable Player in 1957, and the Lou Gehrig Memorial award for integrity in 1970. In 1975, he received the People's Choice award for Favorite Sports figure. In 2002, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush; and

WHEREAS, Aaron experienced countless acts of racism, but used his platform to help bring attention to civil rights. He became an activist who continued to lobby in hopes of encouraging young Black athletes to stay in baseball. With the support of the NAACP, Aaron became the first Black man to obtain a senior management position as a front office executive with the Atlanta Braves; and

WHEREAS, In 1994, Aaron and his wife, Billye, founded the Chasing the Dream Foundation which provided financial support and mentoring to unde...

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