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Tue, Jun 19, 2007

Delta Honors Hammerin' Hank With Branded 757

Carrier Salutes Home Run King as Barry Bonds Creeps Closer to Record

On Monday, Delta Air Lines celebrated Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and Home Run King Hank Aaron by unveiling a newly branded Boeing 757 aircraft in his honor.

The event honored Aaron's accomplishments and contributions to the game with a signature aircraft branded with artwork of Aaron's historic 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth as baseball's all-time home run king, said the carrier.

Dubbed the "Hank Aaron 755" to commemorate his 755 career-capping home runs, the aircraft was unveiled by Aaron and Delta Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastian at a ceremony near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

"Baseball's all-time, home-run record is arguably the greatest record in sports and Delta is thrilled to honor the man who holds it, Atlanta's own Hank Aaron," said Bastian. "Mr. Aaron thrilled millions of fans in his years with the Braves and, since his retirement from baseball as an active player in 1976, has remained an important member of the Braves' organization and the Atlanta community.

As Atlanta's hometown airline and the Official Airline of the Atlanta Braves, Delta is proud to dedicate one of our aircraft to a resident of the Atlanta community who has become a national treasure and a global baseball icon."

As a member of the Atlanta Braves, Aaron broke baseball's home run record on April 8, 1974 -- hitting his 715th home run off Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Al Downing. He went on to hit 755 home runs in a 23-year career and still holds Major League Baseball's all-time records for RBI (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856).

He was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility, and is currently a senior vice president with the Braves.

It appears likely Aaron won't hold onto the record for much longer, however. On Sunday, the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hit his 748th career home run in the Boston Red Sox's 9-5 victory over the Giants... moving within seven homers of Hank Aaron's record.

FMI: www.delta.com

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