Aaron went one step (or two) too far one night in St. Louis


Baseball slugger Henry Aaron, left, gets an assist from his wife, Billye, in blowing out a birthday cake presented Aaron on his 40th birthday, in their home, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 1974, Atlanta, Ga. (Associated Press photo)

Rick Hummel

Henry Aaron, the longtime home-run king, actually hit 756 homers in his esteemed career. But he had one taken away from him as a Milwaukee Braves slugger, by home-plate umpire Chris Pelekoudas on Aug. 18, 1965 at Busch Stadium I — the former Sportsman’s Park.

Cardinals Hall of Famer Tim McCarver remembers it well. He was catching that night.

It happened in the eighth inning of a 3-3 game. Aaron, the National Baseball Hall of Famer who died at 86 on Friday, was hitting with two out against lefthander Curt Simmons, who featured a slower-than-slow changeup that Aaron couldn’t wait for sometimes.

The at-bat before, Aaron had flied to center fielder Curt Flood and McCarver was told by Pelekoudas that if that ball had been dropped, “I’ve got to call Henry out. Did you see how far out of the box he was?”

“I sheepishly kind of mumbled something,” McCarver recalled Friday. “I didn’t want to say that Henry Aaron was out of the box. I hadn’t stooped to those levels yet. I didn’t disagree with Chris, but I didn’t disagree vehemently because it had been a routine fly ball.”

In the eighth, Aaron, moving up in the box — and…

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