The Home Run Race of 1961 is one of the more memorable home run races in baseball history. In 1927 Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs and set a record many thought would never be broken. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle had other thoughts.
On September 26th 1961 Roger Maris hit his 60th HR to tie Babe Ruth’s single season home run record. Mickey and Maris went back and forth all season but Maris wound up tying and eventually breaking Ruth’s record with 61 HRs.
Of course this record, as do most other broken records, came with some controversy. Babe Ruth hit his 60 HRs when MLB teams only played a 154 game schedule. In 1961 the AL expanded from 8 to 10 teams and extended the schedule to 162 games. The controversy with this record is that Maris hit his 61st home run in the 162nd game. It was actually the MLB commissioner who started the controversy by adding an asterisk to Maris’s record. Of course all of it is moot because Maris’s record has since been broken a few times.
Either way, history was made on this day when Maris tied a record held by one of, if not the greatest baseball player to ever live.