Video Courtesy Of YanksAtShea
#5 An Iconic Record Is Shattered
When Roger Maris stepped to the plate to face Tracy Stallard, if he had taken his helmet off, bald spots would have shown from the stress he incurred during his journey to unseat the venerable Babe Ruth as the all-time holder of the single-season home run mark.
As a journeyman outfielder who had never totaled more than 28 home runs in a season, he was traded by the Kansas City Athletics with Joe DeMaestri and Kent Hadley to the New York Yankees for Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern and Marv Throneberry.
He hit 39 home runs in his first season with the Yankees, but no one could have expected what occurred during the 1961 season when the “race was on” to catch Ruth. To add to his misery, Mickey Mantle, the iconic Yankees fan favorite, stayed in step with Maris until the final days of the season when Mantle was forced to sit out due to injury.
Maybe I’m not a great man but I damn well want to break the record (Roger Maris)
Nevertheless, Maris rose to the occasion, creating a stir throughout baseball that ultimately resulted in an asterisk being added to record-shattering 61st home run (it was later removed).
The call in the above video is given by Red Barber, a Hall Of Fame broadcaster in his right. But I don’t think it does the moment justice. So, I include a second version of the home run with the call by Phil Rizzuto who, with his “He did it, He did It, Holy Cow….”, represents the proper (my opinion) accent on the moment.
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