|Hall of Fame honors Aaron
| COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will dedicate a new, permanent exhibit entitled “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream,” celebrating the lifetime story and achievements of the Baseball Hall of Fame legendary outfielder. The exhibit will be formally dedicated on Saturday, April 25, with an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony as part of a day-long salute to Aaron and his accomplishments.
“Chasing the Dream” features four topical explorations of the life and times of Aaron, from his early days as a youth in Mobile, Ala., through his present endeavors with the Chasing the Dream Foundation and his numerous honors for his philanthropic work. The exhibit will also detail his climb to excellence in his major league career, along with an entire section dedicated to chasing Babe Ruth’s historic home run record in 1974. “Chasing the Dream” marks the first of two exhibits slated to open in honor of Aaron, with “Hank Aaron: Gallery of Records,” an exhibit recognizing the statistical leaders of baseball, slated to open in 2011.
“Hank Aaron defines Hall of Fame excellence,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “‘Chasing the Dream’ represents the journey all major league players experience through their careers, though few achieve that dream at the level Henry has, both on and off the field. For Hank Aaron, it represents not only the quiet grace and dignity that he brought to the ballpark everyday, but also the chase for immortality in the face of tremendous adversity in pursuing the most hallowed record in all of American sports, and then parlaying that success into a post-career ambition to give back. Through this exhibit, visitors will learn more about a man who is a Hall of Famer in every sense.”
The exhibit will feature artifacts from Aaron’s career including the bat and ball used to hit home run No. 714 to tie Babe Ruth, the bats and balls from his 3,000th hit, 500th and 600th home runs, and the balls hit to record his 755th homer and 2,210 RBI. Aaron’s uniform shirt, pants, cap and helmet worn while he hit the record-breaking 715th homer will be in the new exhibit alongside his locker, 1957 World Series Ring, MVP award and many other artifacts from his historic career.
Special guests and dignitaries expected to attend the April 25 exhibit opening will be announced in the coming weeks. A special Voices of the Game roundtable discussion of the career of Aaron will follow the formal exhibit opening at 1 p.m., with participants to be announced soon. Tickets for the Voices of the Game event will first be available on Monday, March 30 for members of the Museum by calling 607-547-0397. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
Other activities planned to celebrate the opening on April 25 include a 10 a.m. PowerPoint presentation of Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh’s World Children’s Baseball Fair 2007 in the Bullpen Theater; and a screening of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream” in the Bullpen Theater at 2:30 p.m.
In his 23-year major league career with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, Aaron produced 3,771 hits, 755 home runs and 2,297 RBI, all records at the time of his retirement from baseball in 1976. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 on his first appearance on the ballot.
Since his retirement, Aaron’s impact on the game of baseball has continued to grow. Aaron has engaged in many philanthropic efforts, including The Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, which helps underprivileged children gain the opportunity to participate in activities like music and athletics that they cannot otherwise afford; sponsoring the Hank Aaron Scholarship program and he has been involved in a number of charity organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Salvation Army, and Boy Scouts. He has also served as a vice president of the Atlanta Braves, has launched, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, the Hank Aaron Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H.W. Bush.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week, year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., seven days a week. The Museum observes off-season hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., from the day after Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. Ticket prices are $16.50 for adults (13 and over), $11 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $6 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our website at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.