Aaron’s childhood home to open as museum in Mobile

Published 8:06 pm Sunday, July 20, 2008

MOBILE – Officials are expected announce Monday that Hank Aaron’s childhood home will be moved to the park next to the Hank Aaron Memorial Stadium and turned into an Aaron family museum.

The city and the Mobile BayBears minor league baseball team, which plays in the stadium, will work together to move the house to the stadium’s Gas Light Park.

BayBears president Bill Shanahan came up with the idea last year and presented it to Aaron, who talked it over with family members.

“He was touched by the thought,” Shanahan told the Press-Register newspaper. “He talked to family members and we stayed in touch. In November, hank called back and said he had talked with his mother and his siblings and they made a commitment to the project.”

Aaron’s mother, Estella, died in April.

The plan calls for the house to be moved in October and the museum to open in March. The grand opening will be the crowning moment of a season-long celebration of Aaron’s 75th birthday, Shanahan said.

“I thought it was a great idea from the outset,” said Mobile Mayor Sam Jones. “To have one of the greatest players in the nation be from Mobile and to have a museum to honor him and his accomplishments, I think is a great opportunity.”

Shanahan said Larry Hinkle of Hinkle’s House Movers has agreed to move the house for free because of his admiration for Aaron.

Shanahan said the museum will widen its focus beyond Aaron’s baseball career. In addition to featuring the Aaron family and its place in baseball the museum will also showcase the history of the Mobile area and people who have played a role in that history.

“This stadium isn’t just named for a great baseball player, it’s named for a great man,” Shanahan said.