Hank Aaron: Portrait of the Player and the Man
// William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

Hank Aaron: Portrait of the Player and the Man

Sports Talk - Hank Aaron: Portrait of the Player and the Man
Aug 13 2023 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Sports Talk - Hank Aaron: Portrait of the Player and the Man


  • WHAT: Sports Talk - Hank Aaron: Portrait of the Player and the Man with Jeff Schultz, senior writer for The Athletic and Zach Klein, sports director for Channel 2 Action News.
  • WHEN: August 13 at 1 PM – 2:30 PM
  • WHERE: The Breman (1440 Spring Street – Across 18th Street from the entrance to the Center for Puppetry Arts)
  • COST: Free (Pre-Registration Requested)
  • Free Parking


Hank Aaron reached the pinnacle of Major League Baseball when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974, but getting there was not easy for reasons that went well beyond the field of play. The estimated 900,000 letters the Atlanta Braves outfielder received in 1973 was reported to have contained many hundreds of racist attacks and death threats.

It wasn’t the first time that Aaron had prevailed in the face of racism. He started his career in the segregated Negro American League as an 18-year-old in 1951, and when he made it to the Majors in 1954, he often slept in railcars in which the Milwaukee Braves traveled since most of the hotels where his teammates stayed were white only. Aaron radiated dignity in public, but the inequities and threats were a burden he carried into his successful post-playing career in Atlanta, the self-promoted “City Too Busy to Hate.”

In this program "Hank Aaron: Portrait of the Player and the Man," Jeff Schultz, senior writer for The Athletic and Zach Klein, sports director for Channel 2 Action News explore the amazing highs and sobering lows that were never far apart in “The Hammer’s” world.

The program is another in a series focused on photographer Robert Weingarten’s biographical portraits, including one of Aaron, in The Breman’s current photography exhibition “ICONS: Selections from the Portrait Unbound.”

After the program, enjoy our free Something Special Sunday Presented by Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein reception featuring baked treats and lemonade, meet fellow audience members and take a look at the ICONS exhibition, curator Tony Casadonte will be in the gallery to discuss Weingarten’s groundbreaking portraits before and after the talk.

Photograph of Hank Aaron by Ron Sherman. 

On assignment for United Press International on April 8, 1974, the night that Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record, Ron Sherman captured this photo of "The Hammer" holding his 715th home run ball. Sherman recalls that the photo “was a challenge to get because there were dozens of photographers surrounding him at home plate. I made sure that I was in position to get the photo I wanted.”

The picture will be included in a coffee-table book of Sherman's Atlanta photographs publishing in November, "WITness -- A Photographic Essay of Humor and Heart."


Hank Aaron biographical portrait (Detail) by Robert Weingarten 2007.

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