LIVE UPDATES: Hank Aaron’s memorial service at Braves stadium

‘If there is a baseball team in heaven, they just picked up a heckuva cleanup hitter’

One by one, former Braves players, friends and current manager Brian Snitker shared their memories of baseball legend Henry “Hank” Aaron. Aaron died Friday at his Atlanta home. He was 86.

Aaron was remembered not just for his heroics on the field, but also for his work after baseball, including his work within the Braves organization.

A memorial service was held at Braves’ home, Truist Park. Several video tributes were also broadcast for those unable to attend in person.

ExploreMore on baseball legend Hank Aaron

On Wednesday, a private funeral will be at 1 p.m. at Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta. Former President Bill Clinton and former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig are scheduled to attend the funeral.

1:45 p.m.: Terry McGuirk announced a new fund to support Aaron’s lifelong passion for increasing minority participation in baseball. McGuirk closed the service by saying Aaron’s legacy would live on.

Chipper Jones speaks at the memorial service for Hank Aaron at Truist Park on Tues, Jan. 26 2021. Credit MLB
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Chipper Jones speaks at the memorial service for Hank Aaron at Truist Park on Tues, Jan. 26 2021. Credit MLB

1:36 p.m.: “If you ever wanted to get Hank talking, you just had to ask him anything about hitting,” Chipper Jones, former Brave, said during the service.

An emotional Jones said if he had to describe Aaron in one word, it would be “beautiful.” Aaron set the example of how to deal with adversity.

“Keep swinging, he would say,” Jones said.

Hank Aaron’s memorial service at Braves stadium Credit: MLB
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Hank Aaron’s memorial service at Braves stadium Credit: MLB

1:34 p.m.: Former Braves player Marquis Grissom called Aaron a true legend and humanitarian.

“I can’t thank him enough for the stories, the memories and influence and impact that he had on my career,” he said.

1:28 p.m.: “It’s been an honor of a lifetime to be able to wear the same jersey Hank Aaron wore,” Dale Murphy, former outfielder, said in a video tribute. “Thank you, Hank, for all you did for so many of us.”

Murphy said he was a 17-year-old boy in 1974 when Aaron hit home run No. 715 to pass Babe Ruth’s record.

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1:27 p.m.: Current Braves player Freddie Freeman shared his condolences and memories of Aaron in a video message.

“His life made you want to better your own,” Freeman said.

In a separate video, manager and former player Dusty Baker said he was unable to make it to Atlanta in time, but will attend Wednesday’s funeral for his longtime friend.

Braves Manager Brian Snitker becomes emotional at Hank Aaron memorial
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Braves Manager Brian Snitker becomes emotional at Hank Aaron memorial

1:25 p.m.: Current Braves Manager Brian Snitker said Aaron epitomized what it means to be a Brave.

“I’ll miss the friend and the mentor I had in my life,” he said.

While working for the Braves organization, Aaron helped develop young managers and coaches, Snitker said.

1:20 p.m.: “Baseball won’t forget, Atlanta won’t forget because he’s the greatest Atlanta Braves in history,” former pitcher John Smoltz said in a videotaped message.

Braves legends John Smoltz, Tom Glavine share tribute for Hank Aaron
Caption
Braves legends John Smoltz, Tom Glavine share tribute for Hank Aaron

1:17 p.m.: In a videotaped message, former pitcher Tom Glavine said he was always struck by Aaron’s humility.

“If there is a baseball team in heaven, they just picked up a heckuva cleanup hitter,” Glavine said.

1:15 p.m.: “Hank Aaron was not just a great player,” Manfred said. “He was truly a great man.”

Manfred said he knew Aaron for more than two decades.

1:10 p.m.: In his opening remarks, Terry McGuirk chairman of Atlanta Braves team, said Aaron will be remembered for his efforts on and off the field. “To us, he will always be known as our homerun king,” he said. “The world is a better place because of Henry Louis Aaron.”

McGuirk said Turner, previously scheduled to speak, was not able to attend.

— Please return to AJC.com for coverage of today’s service.

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