ATLANTA , Hank Aaron's stamp is firmly inscribed on the World Series.
His No. His No. 44 has been painted in the middle field of Truist Park at the Braves all season. It will remain in bold, vivid green for Friday's Game 3 against Houston Astros.
Aaron, the Hall of Famer who passed away on January 22 is more than just the number.
Houston manager Dusty Baker stated that "Hank's footprints can be seen all over this series."
It's possible that neither Baker or Atlanta manager Brian Snitker would keep their jobs if it weren't for Aaron.
Snitker stated Thursday that he believed he helped shape Dusty and me, as young players and as young coaches. He was instrumental in both our careers, as I know that both of us loved him to death for all he did.
Aaron was the one who convinced Baker to sign as a teenager outfielder with the Braves in 1967. Aaron, an already established star, promised Baker his mother that he would take good care of her son.
Aaron kept his promise and continued to support Baker's mom even after Baker's playing career ended.
Baker stated Thursday that if we had not talked about baseball, it is likely we wouldn't have had many conversations. "He asks me first about my mother. "... I told him that he had promised to my mother when I was 18 years.
Baker was just 19 when he made his major-league debut in 1968 with Atlanta against the Astros, which was then a National League team.
Aaron, the Braves' farm director set the stage for Snitker’s long career as a manager and coach. Aaron provided an opportunity for Snitker to continue in the game of baseball as a coach after it became clear that he was no longer a first baseman or catcher.
Snitker, a roving coach, instructor, and manager, has been with the organization for 40 years, six of which were as Atlanta's manager.
Snitker (66), and Baker (72) are trying to win the first World Series title. Aaron is a presence that each of them feels. Each one wants to be a mentor's proud.
Baker stated, "I think about him constantly, especially in a series such as this." "I feel his presence, particularly him and my father."
Baker also keeps in touch with Aaron's family. Baker said that he called Hank Jr., Aaron's son on Thursday.
Baker was present when Aaron struck his record-breaking 715th career hit at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, April 8, 1974. Aaron informed Baker as he was walking to the plate that he would hit the homer during that at-bat.
Aaron struck 755 homers, breaking the Barry Bonds record set in 2007. Aaron is still the player with the most runs, total bases, and extra-base hits in the major leagues.
Aaron spent his last two seasons with Milwaukee Brewers. He returned to the city where he made debut with the Milwaukee Braves. Aaron was honored by the Brewers this season with 44 patches on their jersey sleeves.
MLB presented Aaron with a tribute at this summer's All-Star Game, Denver. The game was originally to be held in Atlanta. All All-Star players wore No. During workouts and during the home run derby, Aaron wore No. 44. Aaron's number was inscribed on the right field grass for the game.
Aaron retired from Atlanta, and continued to be involved with the Braves until his passing at 86. Baker served as a pallbear at Aaron’s Atlanta funeral.
Aaron made his last public appearance on January 5, when he received the COVID-19 vaccine. This was in an effort to inform Black Americans that the shots are safe.
Aaron stated that the vaccination makes him feel "wonderful" and added, "I have no qualms whatsoever about it." It's something I am proud to do.
An Aaron memorial still stands in front of the former Atlanta-Fulton County stadium walls. The display was decorated with flowers and baseballs on a rainy Thursday. Many of the messages were from Aaron's fans.
Baker and Snitker share the same devotion to Aaron.
Baker stated Thursday that Baker would enjoy the World Series matchup.
Baker stated that if Aaron was still alive, "He'd call me and then the first thing he would do would be to call me Mr. Dusty Baker would then start laughing.
Aaron would also often call Snitker to congratulate him on the Braves' major wins.
Snitker stated that he would be proud of the work we did. "... I'm sure he's very proud of what we did. He's sure to brag about his accomplishments to anyone who listens. It's great to see him doing this.