JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The inaugural Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and Hank Aaron Sports Academy Baseball Tournament is set to be announced Tuesday.
Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney is scheduled to make the announcement at 5:30 p.m. in the atrium of City Hall, according to a news release from his office.
Before he died last year, Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron had a vision to bring the game of baseball to every community, and the baseball tournament aims to honor that vision.
Hank Aaron Sports Academy also honored the iconic sporting figure across the country by creating opportunities to access services in the fields of sports, business, social development and education.
“Hank Aaron is a pillar and household name in our community, and even though he recently passed away, he remains someone who has broken down barriers that everyone has benefited from so far,” Gaffney said in release of news prior to announcement. “For the most part, as a kid, we found ourselves in Hank Aaron, and now, I believe the City of Jacksonville is making history again.”
Aaron, who suffered racist threats with strong dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record and beautifully left his mark as one of baseball’s greatest players, died on Jan. 22, 2021. He is 86 years old.
Aaron once played for the Class A Jacksonville Braves, breaking the South Atlantic League color barrier, according to Jumbo Shrimp. In his lone season in Jacksonville, Aaron hit 22 home runs, 36 doubles and 14 triples and had a .362 average to earn MVP honors.
Aaron and the Braves play their games at Durkee Field in Jacksonville. The park, at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Eighth Street, is now known as JP Small Memorial Park.
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