The Hank Aaron statue saga will have a happy ending.
The Atlanta Braves announced Friday that they are planning a new statue to honor the slugger at SunTrust Park, which will open in time for the 2017 season. There has been a debate recently between the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority and the team over who owns the statue that stands outside of Turner Field, the Braves’ current home.
The Braves released this statement Friday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Nothing could be further from the character of Hank Aaron than the divisive conversations that are occurring over his iconic statue. As such, the Atlanta Braves have decided that we will no longer contest the eventual location of the statue and will instead focus on how to best showcase Hank’s impact and legacy at SunTrust Park."
Aaron, now 82, retired as the majors’ all-time home run king with 755, though Barry Bonds eclipsed him in 2007. He spent 21 of his 23 major-league seasons with the Braves (the first 12 in Milwaukee, then nine in Atlanta).
Aaron was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1982, getting 97.8 percent of the vote (the seventh-highest total in history).