Hall of Famer Hank Aaron was among six distinguished guests who were presented with honorary degrees from Princeton University at its 264th commencement on Tuesday.
Aaron was presented with an honorary doctorate of humanities. The university cited Aaron's "imperishable example of grace under pressure" as he chased Babe Ruth's career home run record and received racist hate mail and death threats as a result. "As a player entering Major League Baseball soon after its integration in 1954, he confronted racism with quiet dignity, and as an executive he has fought discrimination in hiring practices," a university press release said.
Aaron's 755 home runs rank second in baseball history. After passing Ruth in April 1974, he held the all-time mark for 33 years until Barry Bonds passed him in 2007. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982, Aaron is one of the true legends of the game, becoming the first player to reach 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. He finished his 23-year career with a .305 batting average and was an All-Star in 21 of those seasons.
Aaron, who spent 21 of his 23 seasons with the Braves organization in Milwaukee and Atlanta, currently is the club's senior vice president.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.