LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A letter from his hero - that’s what one Lawton man says he received in the mail from baseball icon Hank Aaron nearly two decades ago.
On and off the field, Hank Aaron was a legend, whether he was breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record or fighting for civil rights.
“To get to even have an opportunity or a chance to break Babe Ruth’s record speaks volumes for a young black man like me. Hank Aaron looks like me. It gave me incentive that I could reach a lot of goals in my life, said Lawton native Michael Turner.
Turner says Hank Aaron became his hero when he was 14 years old. Years later in 1993, he read an article detailing Hammering Hank’s life and struggles.
“Death threats on his family, death threats on his wife, his kids, on himself. It kind of touched me. It showed how divided the country was then, similar to how it is now. When I read that, it touched my heart so I wrote him a letter,” Turner said.
In that letter, Turner wrote of how much he appreciated everything he had done, and that he would be praying for him and his family.
“I told him that he was my hero and he always would be. It was neat to write it, but it was even better to get a response,” Turner said.
That response came about a week later on paper from Turner Broadcasting, where Aaron served as Vice President.
“Here’s a guy who broke a record nobody thought would ever be broken. Takes the time out to respond to a 32-year-old young man who had an idol back when he was 14 years old. He just took time and words can’t really express how I felt about receiving a letter from Hammering Hank, it was awesome,” Turner said.
Turner framed that letter, still has it, and says he always will.
“He certainly was my hero then, he’s my hero now and he’ll be a hero beyond the grave,” Turner said.
Hank Aaron passed away last Friday at the age of 86.