The Bronx is Boiling: Yankees Offseason Vol. II

3 of 5


The Yankees finished third in 1959 and unloaded Yankees’ favorites Hank Bauer, Don Larsen and two others for this kid Roger Maris who spent his first four seasons bouncing around the American League. He was a career .248 hitter with 77 career home runs at that point. We all know what happens next.

Roger Maris would become a legend, winning the AL MVP Award in his first two seasons in the Bronx. They would go to the World Series for the next five seasons and he and Mickey Mantle would become household names. The M & M Boys combined for the sickest season two teammates have ever had in that magical 1961 season and had The Mick been able to finish the season, we can only imagine what would have been.

Alas, he didn’t, and Maris was able to chase down the ghost of the Bambino by hitting 61 home runs (no asterisk), driving in 141 (to lead the AL in RBI for the second consecutive season) and scoring 132 more. It is still astonishing that his 61 home runs caused more controversy than Mark McGwire’s, Sammy Sosa’s and Barry Bonds record setting blasts. Maris would not become a Hall of Famer, but he will forever be remembered in baseball lore.