A school in Atlanta will change its name to a legendary MLB player. According to USA Today, The Atlanta Board of Education voted unanimously to change the name of Forrest Hill Academy to Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy. Hank Aaron played for the Milwaukee Braves and Atlanta Braves and died at the age of 86 earlier this year.
"It is very important that we understand our history," board member Michelle Olympiadis said during the meeting. "It's very important that we understand where we are coming from." The school was named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army and also known for being one of the founding members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Aaron played 21 seasons with the Braves from 1954 to 1974. He's known for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record in Atlanta on April 8, 1974, a record that stood until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007. Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs, the second-most in MLB history.
"Hank was very instrumental in me becoming an Atlanta Brave," Chipper Jones, another Braves legend, said at Aaron's memorial service in January. "The room of Braves decision-makers was split on who they were going to take with their first pick. As legendary scout Paul Snyder once told me, the vote came around to Hank. He paused, looked at everybody in the room, and he said, 'Y'all better draft that Jones boy.' I'll never forget that. That comment must've carried some weight."
In Aaron's career, he recorded a career batting average of .305 with 3,771 hits, 2,297 RBIs and 1,477 extra-base hits. His hit total ranks third all-time while his RBI and extra-base hit totals are still MLB records haven't been broken. Aaron was also selected to play in the All-Star game 25 times, which is also an all-time record. He was named to the MLB's All-Century Team in 1999.
We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank. He was a beacon for our organization, first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts," Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk wrote in the statement. "His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his nimble nature. Henry Louis Aaron wasn't just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world."