Astros manager Dusty Baker reacts to death of close friend, Hank Aaron

Baker, Aaron have been close friends for decades

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 5: Hank Aaron #44 of the Atlanta Braves takes batting practice before an MLB Spring Training game on March 5, 1972 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images) (1972 B Bennett)

HOUSTON – The death of MLB legend Hank Aaron is hitting many hard, including Astros manager Dusty Baker.

Baker released a statement that read, in part, “He taught me how to be a man and how to be a proud African American.”

Read his full statement below:

Hank Aaron was the most important influence on my life, next to my dad. He was the best person that I ever knew, and the truest, most honest person that I ever knew. He taught me how to be a man and how to be a proud African American. He taught me how important it was to give back to the community, and he inspired me to become an entrepreneur. Hank impacted my life, my family and my world, both on and off the field. He was a great man.