2/51 Hank Aaron.

When Hank Aaron arrived in Atlanta with the Braves in 1966, he was already one of baseball’s most successful sluggers.

In 1957, he led the Milwaukee Braves to their first World Series victory since 1914 and was named National League MVP. Once in Atlanta, Hammerin’ Hank continued reaching milestones. On April 27, 1971, Aaron hit his 600th career home run, only the third major league player to do so. By the end of the 1973 season, he was closing in on Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record of 714.

During the 1973-1974 off season, Aaron received racially charged hate mail, including death threats, from baseball fans who considered Babe Ruth’s record sacred. On April 8, 1974, Aaron became the new home run champion when a record crowd in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium witnessed him hit number 715.

Hank Aaron's 600th home run bat, 1971.

Courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Courtesy of Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archives, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library

Next: 3 The Atlanta Braves.

The oldest continually operating sports franchise in America was also the first major league sports team in the Deep South.