ESPN will produce a special Hank Aaron-themed broadcast for Tuesday’s Braves-Mets broadcast, featuring a live guest appearance by the onetime home run king himself and numerous tributes to Aaron throughout the evening, the network announced Monday.
Aaron will join Dave Flemming, Eduardo Perez, and Tim Kurkjian in the booth for multiple innings, per an ESPN release. The game broadcast will also feature highlights of his career, phone interviews with former teammate Ralph Garr and fellow Mobile, Alabama native Hall of Famer Billy Williams, sound bites from Willie Mays and Dusty Baker, and quotes about Aaron from legends such as Muhammad Ali and Mickey Mantle.
Aaron, of course, spent the majority of his career with the Braves, both when the team was based in Milwaukee and after it moved to Atlanta in 1966. Over 23 major league seasons, Aaron hit a then-record 755 home runs and qualified for 21 All-Star Games. His 2,297 RBI and 6,856 total bases still stand as MLB records more than four decades after his retirement.
Now 84 years old, Aaron has a role in the Braves organization and remains fairly visible around baseball, appearing at the World Series each year to present the award named in his honor. Last spring, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Atlanta’s new SunTrust Park.
There doesn’t seem to be any particular impetus for ESPN’s celebration of Aaron this week —the Hall of Famer isn’t celebrating a birthday, and it’s not a key anniversary of his 715th home run or his first or last game. It’s merely an opportunity to recognize an all-time great, revered for both his on-field performance and his off-field elegance and bravery, while he’s around to be recognized. And there sure isn’t anything wrong with that.
Tuesday’s ESPN broadcast of Mets-Braves will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.