Mobile remembers "Hammerin' Hank"

Jan 25, 2021

Mobile is mourning the loss of one of its all-time legends. Baseball great Hank Aaron’s death was announced Friday. “Hammerin’ Hank” will be remembered as one of baseball’s all-time greats. Aaron was the man who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974. But in reality, he was also a modest man who stayed close to his roots even after leaving town.

“Hank meant a lot to Mobile and the community,” says John Hilliard. He’s vice president of Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group. “The stadium was named after him in 97 and his childhood home that he and his dad and his family built was moved here 10 years ago and so we're sad to hear the news.”

The organization operates the stadium and museum named for Aaron. It was during a 1974 game against the Dodgers where Aaron became a baseball legend. He hit a ball over the fence to shatter Babe Ruth’s home run record. Residents of Mobile still remember Aaron as a quiet, modest man who cared about people and never forgot his community.

“He did a lot of great things for his community. He'd come back whenever he was asked to, several times,” recalled Hilliard. “He'll be missed for sure, because like I said, he came back several times and donated a lot of stuff to the museum. He really cared about Mobile. He cared about people. Probably the most humble man I've ever met with everything that he did and all the accomplishments he always stayed humble and very appreciative and gave a lot of credit to him mom and dad and brothers and sisters for the way he grew up.”

Hank Aaron left the city to play baseball for the Braves in Milwaukee and then Atlanta, but he left his mark on Mobile. Local residents and officials plan to meet with Aaron’s estate to plan a memorial service in the Port City at a later day.