OOPERSTOWN, N.Y., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is adding to its art collection with the donation of a portrait depicting one of the sport’s most famous players. “Babe Ruth” by Rossin, a 72-inch x 60-inch oil on canvas, uniquely captures the athlete during his early years with the New York Yankees.

The painting was commissioned and donated to the Hall of Fame by national lease-to-own retailer Aaron’s, Inc. in commemoration of opening its milestone 2,000th store Friday in the Bronx. Joe Torre, a legendary baseball manager and Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President for baseball operations, attended the grand opening event as Aaron’s special guest and officially unveiled the portrait during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Erik Strohl, Senior Director of Exhibitions and Collections for the Hall of Fame, was on hand at the event to accept the portrait.

“We are thrilled by Aaron’s donation of this extraordinary portrait, which is incredibly lifelike and unique,” Strohl said. “Babe Ruth is globally known as one of baseball’s most popular figures that ever lived, and we always welcome new ways to pay tribute to his legacy. This portrait is especially appealing in how it portrays ‘The Babe’ as a young man, early in his career, in full color detail. Most photographs of Ruth are not only in black and white, but depict him later in his career. Babe Ruth comes to life in this portrait in a way we’ve never seen before, a testament to the wonderful work by the artist. You really have to see it to believe it.”

Aaron’s commissioned the painting by internationally acclaimed portrait artist Rossin, recognized for his lifelike pieces of world leaders including U.S. Presidents, Britain’s royal family and celebrities.

“On the occasion of opening our 2,000th store in New York City, we wanted to do something meaningful for the local community,” saidRonald W. Allen, CEO and President of Aaron’s. “Yankees baseball is obviously close to the hearts of New York residents, and we wanted to give them a rare opportunity to be among the first to see this spectacular painting of Babe Ruth, up close and in person, before it finds its permanent home at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Rossin’s portraits are of the highest caliber, and we are extremely pleased the Hall of Fame is accepting our donation of the painting as the newest addition to its historic collection of baseball art.”

A replica of the painting will continue to hang in the Bronx Aaron’s store located at 3254 White Plains Road. For more information on the Baseball Hall of Fame, please visit www.baseballhall.org.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation’s leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has 2,000 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states andCanada. Founded in 1955 by entrepreneur and Chairman Emeritus R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr. and headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s has been publicly traded since 1982. For more information, visit www.aarons.com.

About the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial DayWeekend. From Memorial Day through the day before Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. Ticket prices are $19.50 for adults (13 and over), $12 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.

About the Artist, Rossin
Rossin, an internationally renowned artist who has exhibited extensively in Europe and Asia, moved to Atlanta from his native Bulgariain 2001. His focus on portraiture has gained him a reputation for his extraordinary talent. Noted commissions include a portrait of Presidents George H. and George W. Bush which hangs in the Presidential Library in College Station, Texas; a portrait of Ambassador Andrew Young which now resides in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery; his portrait of President Jimmy Carter is exhibited in the Carter Presidential Library and Museum; Morgan Freeman’s portrait is now part of his private collection in his residence in Mississippi; a portrait of King George VI is property of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II and his portrait of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett is part of Ted Turner’s private collection. To learn more about Rossin, visit www.RossinFineArt.com.