In 1961, Major League Baseball was experiencing changes that left lifelong fans of the game feeling dreary and uneasy. Baseball was changing and in the course of five years, it had witnessed the uprooting of two beloved New York franchises. In turn, pushing westward for more money and fans.
The MLB expanded from eight teams per league to 10 and went to a 162 game format instead of the 154. With the expansion and extra games, it would mean that there would be weaker teams and a chance to perhaps go after records that hadn’t been broken in decades. Of course, what I am referring to, is Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record of 60.
The New York Yankees had two sluggers in their lineup both capable of breaking one of the most historic feats in a season: Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Mantle had come close in 1956 when he belted out 52 homers. Maris had shown great power in 1960 when he hit 39 home runs en route to an American League Most Valuable Player award.
Maris would eventually ...