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ESPN plans Hank Aaron Tribute during Tuesday night’s Braves game

Baseball fans everywhere might be interested in Tuesday night’s Atlanta Braves-New York Mets game.

But, Braves fans might especially want to tune in to the nationally-televised game on ESPN.

That’s because the sports network will honor Braves legend Hank Aaron during the telecast.

The “Hank Aaron Tribute Game” is set for a 7:30 p.m. start at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.

This is a tribute that ESPN has had planned for a year.

“We have frequently done tribute telecasts to honor Jackie Robinson and Robert Clemente,” said Phil Orlins, ESPN coordinating producer for Major League Baseball in an email response. “While their stature and influence speaks for itself, we believe that it is also appropriate for us to honor the greatest living players in the game’s history.

“For instance, we honored Willie Mays during a Giants telecast last year, and at the time, we planned on honoring Hank Aaron the next time we had a game in Atlanta.”

Aaron spent 21 of his 23 seasons in major league baseball with the Braves, first playing in Milwaukee and then Atlanta.

The Hall of Famer was a 25-time All-Star and of course became known as the Home Run King after hitting his 715 home run to break Babe Ruth’s long-standing record. He would finish his career with 755 home runs.

Aaron continued his involvement with the Braves organization after his playing career and is currently the team’s senior vice president.

According to an ESPN release, Aaron will join play-by-play announcer Dave Fleming and analysts Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian as a guest in the broadcast booth for several innings.

His impact on the game and beyond will be celebrated throughout the broadcast. Some of the highlights include:

  • Phone interviews with former Braves teammate Ralph Garr and Baseball Hall of Famer Billy Williams, one of the five Hall of Famers from Mobile, Alabama (including Aaron).
  • Sound bites from Hall of Famer Willie Mays and Dusty Baker, who was on-deck when Aaron hit his 715th home run, giving him the all-time record at the time. To this day, Aaron’s final number of 755 still remains second for most career home runs.
  • Past quotes from sports icons about Aaron, including Muhammad Ali, Mickey Mantle and others.
  • Highlights from his Hall of Fame career, which also included a World Series victory in 1957 with the Braves where he was named the National League MVP, three Gold Glove awards and being named batting champion twice.

“We are always looking for opportunties to differentiate our coverage in an authentic and smart way,” Orlins added. “Typically, we do roughly one special telecast per month. We will continue to look for opportunities that meet this criteria.”

Tuesday’s game will also be streamed live on the ESPN App.

For more information on Aaron, click here.



Kevin Price is a freelance writer for AllOnGeorgia with more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications.

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