Henry Aaron made history with one swing of his bat. A year later and on the other side of Georgia, Lee Elder made history with one swing of his driver.
They both overcame racist threats to reach milestones that will always be part of sports lore. “Hammerin’ Hank” supplanted Babe Ruth at the top of baseball’s home run list and Elder became the first Black golfer to play in the Masters.
Their deaths in 2021 were mourned beyond the sports world and were reminders of the hate, hardships and obstacles they endured with dignity on their way to breaking records and barriers.
The sports world also lost four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, high-flying NBA superstar Elgin Baylor, fiery former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, folksy college football coach Bobby Bowden and controversial Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.
John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach turned broadcaster whose
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