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Baseball purists and the media may still obsess over how Barry Bonds broke Hammering Hank’s home run record, but Hank Aaron doesn’t care. All Aaron knows is that he held the record for 33 years. For more than three decades, Aaron’s 755 career home runs was the proverbial carrot for every slugger’s stick. And by 2007, Aaron was ready to let it go.

“It’s probably the most hallowed record out there, as far as I’m concerned, but it’s now in the hands of somebody else,” said Aaron, who retired in 1976. “My hope today…is the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams.”

Aaron congratulates Barry Bonds:

Aaron – born Henry Louis Aaron in Mobile, AL – knows plenty about dreams. He quit high school in 1951 to play for the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro League. He started in the major league’s in 1954. He broke Babe Ruth’s record in 1974.

“I thought, we’ve come along way baby,” Aaron said in an interview regarding breaking’s Ruth’s record, “From Mobile, Ala., to breaking the most prestigious record in baseball. I feel very proud of myself like I had shown everybody that I could play major league baseball.”

Breaking Ruth’s record not only showed the world that Aaron could play major league baseball, but it was another signpost of what would become African-Americans’ domination of professional sports.

Aaron on breaking Ruth’s record:

A few notable achievements:

• Aaron made the All-Star team every year from 1955 until 1975.

• Won three Gold Glove Awards.

• Won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1957

Read Aaron’s bio here.

Read Newsone’s black 3,000 hitmakers. Read the full story.