The Atlanta Braves defeated the New York Mets 3-1 as slugger Henry Aaron hammered career home run number 500 off Mets’ starter Tom Seaver in a three-run third inning. The home run was the seventh of the season for the 35-year-old Alabama native. With the clout, Aaron becomes the eighth member of baseball’s 500 home run hitter’s club joining Ruth (714), Mays (595), Mantle (536), Foxx (534), Williams (521), Ott (511), and former teammate Eddie Mathews (502).
The game featured a matchup of the club’s ace starters, and after the first time through the order, Seaver ran into trouble. After retiring Phil Niekro, Felipe Alou beat out an infield single to shortstop. Felix Millan laced the next Seaver offering into the gap in left center for a double that plated Alou for the game’s first run. Aaron stepped in and wasted no time by driving the next Seaver pitch down the left field line and into the second deck. Teammates met Aaron at home plate, and the temporary celebration allowed Seaver to regain his composure. But by then, it was too late. Niekro’s knuckler kept the Mets off balanced, and despite a pair of doubles in the fourth plating a run, it was apparent the three runs Seaver surrendered would stand up.
After the game, teammates Bob Tillman and Orlando Cepeda posed for pictures with Aaron in the locker room celebration. The Mets and Braves will play the rubber match of the series tomorrow as Don Cardwell will square up against the Braves’ Pat Jarvis.