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Baseball Hall of Fame Will Unveil Hank Aaron Statue On May 23 As Part of Weekend Honoring Black Baseball In America

 The Associated Press  |    Apr 9th, 2024 3:11pm EDT

Hank Aaron poses with his signature Cadillac at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 7, 1983 (Photo By Rick Diamond/Getty Images).

The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. will unveil a statue of Hank Aaron on May 23.

The statue will be unveiled as part of a packed schedule of festivities celebrating Black baseball in the United States over Memorial Day Weekend, which includes an exhibition game at Doubleday Field and the opening of the Hall of Fame’s newest exhibit, titled, “The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.”

The announcement came on the 50th anniversary of Aaron’s 715th home run, which eclipsed the previous record of 714 hit by Babe Ruth. Aaron hit 755 home runs from 1954-76, a mark that stood until Barry Bonds hit 762 from 1986-2007, a feat assisted by performance-enhancing drugs.

Aaron, a 25-time All-Star, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982 and has 2,297 RBI, the most in Major League Baseball history.

“The legacy of Hank Aaron has always been about so much more than just his incredible baseball achievements,” Hall chair Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement. “His philanthropic vision, his support of youth empowerment efforts and his pioneering work as an executive have opened the doors of opportunity for millions throughout the United States and around the world. We are extremely privileged to care for and preserve his entire personal collection in Cooperstown, and this statue will stand forever as a tribute to an American hero.”

The exhibition game, the Hall of Fame East-West Classic, honors the legacy of the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star Game, an event that debuted in 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park and was played annually through 1962.

Players in the game include more than two dozen former Major Leaguers, with team captains CC Sabathia and Chris Young , Matt Kemp, Tyson Ross, Josh Barfield, Tim Beckham, José Contreras, Ian Desmond, Prince Fielder, Dexter Fowler, Doug Glanville, Curtis Granderson, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jerry Hairston, Scott Hairston, LaTroy Hawkins, Ryan Howard, Edwin Jackson, Jeremy Jeffress, Adam Jones, Russell Martin, Darrell Miller, Melvin Mora, David Price, Tony Sipp, Dee Strange-Gordon, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton and Dontrelle Willis among those participating.

The game will be played Saturday, May 25, at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field, and will feature Rollie Fingers and Joe Torre as managers. They will be joined by Harold Baines, Ken Griffey Jr., Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Fred McGriff, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Lee Smith, Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield as coaches.

Former Negro Leaguers Sam Allen and Pedro Sierra will also be in attendance.

The new exhibit, “The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball,” covers the deep connections between baseball and Black America.