The baseball world is mourning Hank Aaron, one of the most skilled and respected people to ever pick up a bat, after news of his death at age 86. Remembrances have been flooding in from all corners, with everyone trying to put words to the Home Run King's greatness. Perhaps the one that speaks the loudest comes from ESPN's Tim Kurkjian, who related a few stories about professional ballplayers rendered speechless by Aaron's presence.
Rare is the icon who can reduce those who must be composed and confident for a living into silence.
Kurkjian also then spoke about the highlight of his 41 years covering baseball: sitting next to Aaron in the broadcast booth for four innings. The baseball historian, who has incredible recall himself, was floored by Aaron's recall and warmth.
This all speaks to the slugger's singular and unique presence. Perhaps no one had more quiet gravitas and commanded more respect on or off a baseball field. In times like these it's always difficult to appropriately contextualize and convey just what type of aura a person had, but Kurkjian does yeoman's work painting a detailed picture with an economy of words.