Aaron throws out Opening Day first pitch

Aaron throws out Opening Day first pitch

ATLANTA -- With the city of Atlanta buzzing about Jason Heyward's debut and manager Bobby Cox's final season, Hank Aaron added to the Opening Day excitement at Turner Field on Monday by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Aaron waved his arms to a sellout crowd, which provided a standing ovation as he made his way toward the mound. The 76-year-old Hall Famer then made a strong throw to Heyward, the Braves' 20-year-old phenom, who was squatted behind the plate.

After sharing a brief hug with Heyward, Aaron walked toward the Braves' dugout and playfully indicated that his right arm was feeling tight.

Aaron hit 733 of his 755 career homers while playing for the Braves from 1954-74. Since his retirement, the Hall of Fame outfielder has handled a number of different roles within the organization. He is currently one of the club's senior vice presidents.

While visiting Braves camp in February, Aaron said that he hoped that the Braves provide Cox one more strong campaign before he retires at the conclusion of this season.

"It's going to be sad when he leaves," Aaron said. "He's not only been great for Atlanta, but also the game of baseball. The game of baseball is going to miss him."

Aaron's ceremonial first pitch headlined the pregame ceremonies, which concluded with country music artist Travis Tritt singing the national anthem.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.