The Braves announced the formation of the Henry Louis Aaron Fund on Wednesday and pledged $1 million to increase diversity across baseball.
MLB and the MLBPA have donated an additional $500,000 as the sport looks to increase "access and opportunities in the areas of sports, business, education and social and racial equality," per a Braves statement.
The Henry Louis Aaron Fund was announced during the memorial service for Braves legend Hank Aaron.
The 1982 Hall-of-Fame inductee stood as baseball's home run king for over 30 years, and more importantly, he served as a fierce advocate for equality and inclusion throughout baseball and the nation writ large. Aaron faced intense racism throughout his playing career, including during his chase to break Babe Ruth's home run record in 1974.
“We want to continue Hank’s amazing work in growing diversity within baseball now and in the years to come,” Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement. “I believe this seed money is just the beginning for this growing fund and I’m certain other companies and organizations who have worked with Hank over the years will join us and add to this call to action to develop talent and increase the diversity on the field and in the front offices across the league.”
Aaron retired in 1976 with one of the greatest resumes in baseball history. He tallied 25 All-Star Game appearances and is the all-time record holder for RBI and total bases.
Aaron's 755 career home runs sit second all-time behind former Giants slugger Barry Bonds.