Yankees Season In Review:
Roger Maris, who broke Babe Ruth's record by hitting 61 homers in , will be profiled on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood of recent books, including Joe Torre, Roger Maris, and, most recently, Mickey Mantle. for the sake of building up the impression of her personal connection to the Mick. . Peary and Clavin maintain that his employers were derelict in not helping him deal. Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane. Actors Barry Pepper, left, as Roger Maris, and Thomas Jane, as Mickey Mantle, certainly look the part in Billy Crystal's "61*.".
Maris had a long-ball formula measured in eighths-of-an-inch. He believed if he hit the ball an eighth-of-an-inch lower than he wanted to, it would be a high fly.
An eighth-of-an-inch higher and it would be a line drive. That year, he kept connecting right in between, on the sweet spot, over and over again.
By the end of May, Mantle had 14 homers and Maris had In June, Maris hit 15 and Mantle They were neck and neck in a race to Ruth, two different personalities rooming with spare outfielder Bob Cerv in a three-bedroom apartment in Queens during that magical summer. The apartment was like a college dorm, with beer and pizza the main items on the menu. They were brought together by Cerv, who had played with Maris in Kansas City. Craft asked me to room with Roger and find out what made him tick.
The manager wants to know what makes you tick. He liked people who were honest with him. All he wanted to do was play ball and be left alone. Big Julie, a classic New Yorker, went out to the airport to meet Maris.
Mickey and Billy Martin were Broadway guys. Roger showed up wearing jeans and a sport shirt and these Pat Boone white shoes.
1961 Yankees Review: Mickey Mantle And Roger Maris, How The Battle Made Them Close
He had done that before. Recruited to play football at the University of Oklahoma, Maris took a bus from his home in Fargo, N. When he got to Oklahoma City, he found no one from the university there to meet him. He simply made a U-turn and went back to Fargo. The airport meeting was not the very best way for the Maris-Isaacson relationship to begin.
It would, however, warm up in time, when Isaacson found out, as Cerv had, what made Maris tick. He did what he wanted.
Untilhis family name was Maras. It was Maris who proposed moving Mantle out of the mayhem of Manhattan to the serenity of Queens and dispatched Isaacson to secure the apartment. Otherwise, it would be listed as a game record. I just wanted to see what I could do. A season is a season. There were rumors that the relationship between the two was strained. Cerv, who lived with them, said he saw none of that. Mantle hit three against Minnesota on Aug.
Maris homered again the next day and then hit two more on Aug. Mantle also connected on the 13th and when the day ended, each had 45 home runs, the last time they were tied that season.
Maris surged to the end of the month, reaching September with 51 homers. Mantle finished August with Now it was a one-man race. Cerv remembers the pressure on Maris, especially from reporters. That stuff started to get to him. Actually, it was the Yankees' th game, including an earlier tie game; Frick had amended his original announcement to parallel the conditions that existed in Ruth's season, when there had also been a tie.
His 60th and 61st home runs came after the deadline, and were greeted with a lot more ambivalence than should have been the case.
Maris had been the American League MVP in as he would be again inbut was not then regarded as one of baseball's biggest stars. And so some fans of Ruth and to a much lesser degree, of Mantle loudly offered a litany of reasons why Maris would be an unworthy successor to the Sultan of Swat.Mickey Mantle: The Definitive Story (MLB Baseball Sports Documentary)
The schedule was not only longer, those claims went, but expansion had brought a new wave of sub-standard pitchers into the AL, the new ballparks were homer-friendly, and Maris had Mantle hitting behind him. Some of what we reported 10 years ago: In fact, there were home runs hit at Wrigley that season, then a big league record.
But Maris hit a total of only three home runs in the 18 games that the Yankees played at those two parks. Nothing indicates that Maris took undue advantage of expansion pitching. Against pitchers who had 25 starts or were credited with 10 saves then unofficial in -- before expansion -- Maris, inhit 23 homers and batted.
Yes, Maris benefited big-time from batting ahead of Mantle. Roger did not receive a single intentional walk in To be fair to Maris, the difference in his batting average according to whether or not Mantle was on deck is a bit skewed.
Billy Crystal's 61* *an unflinching look at Mantle
Early in the season, Maris characteristically batted seventh against left-handers, so his. In addition, research has determined that back inRuth had a pretty good guy coming up behind him Some of the scorn heaped on Maris that year had to do with his modest batting average; he finished the season at. There have now been 30 occasions on which a big-league player has hit at least 50 homers in a season; Maris' average is still the lowest produced in any of the 30 seasons.
The nearest to him: But an inspection of the innards of each game in shows that Maris hit much better with runners on base. Alas, no one kept these kinds of figures back inso they could not be used to temper his critics' carping about his low batting average.
As to the film itself, Crystal has taken great pains to faithfully mimic certain aspects of the season. Those of you who can't watch a baseball movie without playing the "gotcha" game will appreciate that, yes, the Moose Skowron character is really wearing No.
Crystal asserts that the contents of Maris's locker replicate those seen in a photo of the day, and, in the scene in which Maris hits his 61st homer, the actors are sitting on the Yankees bench in exact correspondence to footage and photos that captured the actual moment. All that is fine, but I find the emphasis being placed on such things kind of amusing. Is the purpose of a baseball movie exact imitation of the original? Does that mean that "Pride Of The Yankees" and "Fear Strikes Out" -- probably the two best baseball movies that deal with actual characters and events -- are to be relegated to the bench, just because Gary Cooper and Anthony Perkins who played Lou Gehrig and Jimmy Piersall, respectively, in those films didn't look the part?
Is the drama of "Pride" lessened because, in the film, Gehrig comes to his manager and ends his playing streak on the field at Briggs Stadium, rather than in a Detroit hotel room? Is the tension of "Fear" mitigated because the Red Sox players are seen running around a faux Fenway Park wearing uniform numbers in the 60s and 70s? I say, no and no. The emphasis instead should be focused on larger points -- the relationship between Maris and Mantle; the points of view of the media; the reaction of the fans; and the role of Frick.
With regard to the latter, Crystal has identified Frick as the "villain" of the film, because of his ruling on the game deadline.