Atlanta relocates Hank Aaron statue to ballpark in his old neighborhood

Atlanta City Councilwoman Andrea Boone (from left), Hank Aaron’s widow Billye Aaron and Councilman Michael Julian Bond stand next to the statue in honor of Hank Aaron at the newly renamed Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron Baseball Complex at Adams Park in the Aarons’ longtime neighborhood on Thursday, August 4, 2022. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

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Atlanta City Councilwoman Andrea Boone (from left), Hank Aaron’s widow Billye Aaron and Councilman Michael Julian Bond stand next to the statue in honor of Hank Aaron at the newly renamed Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron Baseball Complex at Adams Park in the Aarons’ longtime neighborhood on Thursday, August 4, 2022. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

City of Atlanta officials had options on where to place a bronze bust of Braves legend Henry “Hank” Aaron that was once located at Turner Field.

In a meeting with Mayor Andre Dickens, the city’s cultural affairs director Camille Russell Love asked where he thought it should go. A display at City Hall, perhaps?

“No, I want it to go into a community,” Russell Love recalled the mayor responding, “where it could inspire young people.”

The city ultimately settled on the ballpark at Adams Park, the southwest Atlanta neighborhood where Aaron lived until he died last year. His widow, Billye Aaron, still lives in the area.

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080422 Atlanta, Ga.: The bust in honor of Hank Aaron is shown at the Adams Park baseball complex, Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

080422 Atlanta, Ga.: The bust in honor of Hank Aaron is shown at the Adams Park baseball complex, Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
080422 Atlanta, Ga.: The bust in honor of Hank Aaron is shown at the Adams Park baseball complex, Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

The statue, created in 1974, was officially unveiled at its new home Thursday as the Adams Park baseball complex was officially renamed after Aaron.

The bust of Aaron now sits in front of a small building with a new mural wrapping around it that lists his accomplishments in Major League Baseball: 755 homeruns. 3,771 hits. 23 seasons played for the Braves and Brewers. One World Series trophy.

“This is a special honor,” said Billye Aaron, who started the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation with her husband to provide funding for youth development programs. “It didn’t have to take place, if someone had not pushed for it, advocated for it and saw to it that it would happen.”

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Hank Aaron’s widow Billye Aaron, left, and Atlanta Braves President Derek Schiller stand next to the bust honoring Hank Aaron. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Hank Aaron’s widow Billye Aaron, left, and Atlanta Braves President Derek Schiller stand next to the bust honoring Hank Aaron. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

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Hank Aaron’s widow Billye Aaron, left, and Atlanta Braves President Derek Schiller stand next to the bust honoring Hank Aaron. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

City officials, council members, Braves executives and members of the Aaron family were on hand for the celebration yesterday, which featured a performance from the Braves’ “Heavy Hitters” drumline. They said they hope Aaron’s legacy, displayed so prominently at the park, inspires more young Atlantans.

“It is my hope that having the bust here in the community will prompt young people who make use of this park to want to know more about him and how he lived his life, and not just the sports headlines,” Dickens said. “The greatness came from his tremendous courage, his tremendous grace and the strength of his character.”

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080422 Atlanta, Ga.: The new mural in honor of Hank Aaron is shown at the Adams Park baseball complex,Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

080422 Atlanta, Ga.: The new mural in honor of Hank Aaron is shown at the Adams Park baseball complex,Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
080422 Atlanta, Ga.: The new mural in honor of Hank Aaron is shown at the Adams Park baseball complex,Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com