755 homers – and one that didn’t clear the fence

Written by: Craig Muder

Within Henry Aaron’s total of 755 home runs lay other fascinating numbers.

Homer No. 714 on Opening Day 1974 tied Babe Ruth’s record; and No. 715 three days later remains one of the game’s magic moments.

But home run No. 448 – on May 10, 1967 – may have been the most unique. Of all Aaron’s big league home runs, that was the only one that didn’t clear the outfield fence.

Aaron’s Atlanta Braves played the Phillies in a doubleheader that Wednesday at Connie Mack Stadium. In Game 1, Aaron came to the plate in the eighth inning, with two outs, teammate Mike de la Hoz on first base and fellow future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning on the mound with a 3-1 lead.

Aaron drove a Bunning pitch to deep center field, chasing Phillies center fielder Don Lock more than 400 feet from home plate. By the time the relay throw made it home, Aaron had crossed the plate with the tying run.

It would be the only inside-the-park home run of Aaron’s career.

The Phillies would win that game 4-3 in the ninth inning when Lock scored on a passed ball charged to Braves catcher – and future Hall of Famer – Joe Torre. Another player destined for Cooperstown, Phil Niekro, threw the pitch.

In the nightcap, Aaron hit a second two-run homer – this time giving the Braves the lead for good in a 7-2 victory.

By the end of the 1967 season, Aaron had totaled a National League-best 39 home runs, leaving him with 481 for his career. He also led the NL in runs (113) and total bases (344) in 1967, earning a fifth place finish in the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting.

Hall of Famer Jesse Burkett is credited with the most career inside-the-park home runs with 55.

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

To the top
To the top