JACKSON, miss. (WLBT) – A baseball legend is honored and remembered in Jackson at the Sports Academy named after number 44.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba helped dedicate and unveil a mural to preserve the memory of Hank Aaron.
The Hank Aaron Sports Academy in Smith Wills was created to introduce and promote baseball interest in underserved communities. Through camps, clinics, games and tournaments, coaches and former major league players hope to nurture future athletes.
Mayor Lumumba says one of the highlights of his life was having the opportunity to talk to Hank Aaron before he died.
Tim Bennett of Hank Aaron Sports Academy said: “This was not just my choice. This was Hank’s choice, and fortunately only a few weeks before Hank’s death, he had a chance to share a conversation with the mayor to express how grateful he was that the mayor opened the city to one of the greatest players who played the game.
Mayor Lumumba said: “Hank Aaron was a person who knew that what he represented was greater than himself. So much so that he wanted to connect with a city like Jackson, Mississippi, where he understood that there was opportunity for growth and love for this sport.
The mayor says that what Hank Aaron gave the world was more than just his skill and ability on the baseball field. He was an ambassador for the sport.
The mural includes other legends about the game, including Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson.
It was painted by local artist and art teacher, Tony Davenport.
Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.