Major League Baseball and its longtime fans have been reeling for months as a lengthy list of Hall of Fame legends passed away, but the biggest blow of all came Friday.
The great Henry Aaron, who began and ended his big-league career in Milwaukee and was known as "Hammerin' Hank" for his successful pursuit of Babe Ruth's cherished home run record, died early Friday in his sleep at age 86.
Former Milwaukee Brewers owner and baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who knew Aaron for 63 years and counted him among his closest friends, said he received news of Aaron's death from a longtime assistant of the baseball great.
"I'm absolutely heartbroken, heartsick," Selig said. "This is so devastating. I know some people may quarrel with it but I've always said he was the greatest player of our generation. But he was a better human being. I'm so sad.
"When you think back to what he accomplished on the field, he was an even greater man off it. He was the same nice, wonderfully decent human being that he was when I first met him in 1958."