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stecropper

* 6 1

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* 6 1 ..............

As television replaced radio, and jet travel made the going faster than trains or conventional prop airplanes, westward expansion was inevitable. The move of the Giants and Dodgers in 1958 to California did not lessen the necessity for growth, but rather increased it - with the result that, by the time the 1961 season got underway, the American League found itself with ten teams and a 162-game schedule. The new teams included the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators, the last of which replaced the old Senators who were transplanted to the St.Paul-Minneapolis area under the name, Minnesota Twins. It was this expansion and the new 162-game schedule which provided baseball with the most exciting and controversial season in years, as the assault on the game's most precious single season's record was finally achieved.

On April 26, at Tiger Stadium, Paul Foytack's fastball got up too high, and Roger Maris launched his first circuit clout of the year into the right field stands. The next six months would see Maris chasing Babe Ruth's mark of 60 home runs in one season, clashing with a persistent press, and asterisks added to the record book by Commissioner Ford Frick. Along with Maris, teammate Mickey Mantle also got away to a fast start. Through May, Mantle had 14 home runs and Maris 12. By the end of July, Mantle had 39, Maris 40, and a buzz was universal in the baseball world. Mantle had been a star for years, and quote-hungry reporters did not bother him. For Maris, though, superstardom was new; the pressure of chasing Ruth's record and the unending pursuit of the press took a great toll on the right fielder, turning him surly and uncommunicative.

.............. To Be Continued

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Hold onto your hats folks...this will culminate in something that will blow you away...and I don't just mean the story!

C

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Can't wait

I am playing the Classics now and Maris is at 27 Hr. near the end of June and The Commerce Comet was doing fine, but it was deja vu all over again. The Mick dove for a liner and hurt his hip and has been out 18 days and is returning in two days. Maris is still the single season HR champ

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* 6 1 ..............

After Detroit had led the American League for the first half, the Yankees took charge after the All-Star break, and all interest turned from the pennant race to the M&M boys. The excitement was fueled by the first-time departure from the traditional 154-game schedule, with some writers and fans claiming that the extra eight games gave Maris an unfair advantage on the record. Commissioner Frick ended all doubt but not the clamour as he ruled, in July, that Ruth's record would fall only if broken in the first 154 games and, that if a new record was set in the final eight games, it would be entered in the record book with an asterisk alongside Ruth's treasured single-season mark.

With half the fans footing for him and the other half rooting against his reaching the "sacred" mark of the Babe, and with the press making copy out of his every action, Maris suffered from the pressure but continued to belt home runs. By September 1, Maris had 51 home runs and Mantle had 48, but Mantle was starting to be hounded by little injuries and an infection, wthich put him out of action for part of September, ending his chance of surpassing Ruth.

In the final game which matched Ruth's schedule, Maris hit #59 but could not get #60, thus assuring that the Babe's mark would stand. On September 26, Jack Fisher of Baltimore served up Maris' 60th in the 159th game of the season. In the season's finale, a Tracey Stallard pitch landed in Yankee Stadium's right field stands to give Maris a season's mark of 61 homers and a new record, or at least part of a new record. Mantle wound up with 54 clouts to bring the duo's total to 115, eclipsing the two-man mark set by Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1927.

.............. To Be Continued

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I look forward to each installment. I was born in 1954 so I was priveledged to witnessing this era of baseball history. Can't even begin to tell you how much you and the entire "Total Classic" team are admired and appreciated. Please continue with this exciting thread, and if by chance there is a mind blowing finale, maybe a hint of when so that I will remember to take my blood pressure medicine that day. :lol: (I'm like a young child eagerly anticipating Christmas.) Thanks so much.

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I've got my own ending to the 61* story. It goes like this-

After Roger Maris' 61 was broken by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and then destroyed by Barry Bonds it was discovered that McGwire, Sosa and Bonds were all "gooped-up" on 'roids when breaking the record. It was then decided to return the homerun record to it's rightfull owner - New York Yankee outfielder #9 Roger Maris :D:D:D:D:D:D

Now that's what I call a happy ending!

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I've got my own ending to the 61* story. It goes like this-

After Roger Maris' 61 was broken by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and then destroyed by Barry Bonds it was discovered that McGwire, Sosa and Bonds were all "gooped-up" on 'roids when breaking the record. It was then decided to return the homerun record to it's rightfull owner - New York Yankee outfielder #9 Roger Maris

Now that's what I call a happy ending!

:lmao:

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I've got my own ending to the 61* story. It goes like this-

After Roger Maris' 61 was broken by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and then destroyed by Barry Bonds it was discovered that McGwire, Sosa and Bonds were all "gooped-up" on 'roids when breaking the record. It was then decided to return the homerun record to it's rightfull owner - New York Yankee outfielder #9 Roger Maris :D:D:D:D:D:D

Now that's what I call a happy ending!

Unfortunately it was found that Maris, too had used an illegal substance, evidenced by his skin problems, increased aging and massive hair loss as the season progressed. His sudden upswing of power over a year and a half span was finally understood and the Sultan of Swat was once again atop his thrown.

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Then later it was found that the hot dogs that Babe ate were laced with steroids-so ty cobb was the winner

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Then later it was found that the hot dogs that Babe ate were laced with steroids-so ty cobb was the winner

HA! That's the funniest thing I've read in a long time.

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Actually Baseball should pursue a posthumous review on Mel Allen for it was he that turned #7 on to the 'miricle shot' that rotted his *** out.

61 was a sweet movie - just like Perry said, for those of us that were around when this went down, Billy Crystal captured the era perfectly.

I remember getting in a fight in 2nd grade because some kid said Maris was also a better fielder than #7. Them thar we're fightin words. Based on the outcome of the fight Maris must have been better coz I my *** thumped!

Great thread - keep it up.

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* 6 1 ...............

With Maris and Mantle constant front page news, the Yankees' pennant drive took on a secondary aura. Finishing eight games ahead of the Tigers, new manager Ralph Houk used the long ball as his big weapons. In addition to Maris and Mantle, Moose Skowron, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, an Johnny Blanchard all knocked over 20 home runs to set a new season's mark of 240 round trippers.

Tony Kubek, Bobby Richardson, and Clete Boyer gave the infield an airtight look, and Houk made key changes by abandoning Casey's Stengel's platooning policy. He moved aging Yogi Berra to left field and installed Johnny Blanchard as Elston Howard's relief behind the plate.

White Ford got a chance to start every fourth day and thrived on the additional work, as he logged a 25-4 mark. Ralph Terry ended at 16-3, and Bill Stafford at 14-9, to round out the big three of the starting staff. Luis Arroyo in using his screwball to chalk up a spectacular season in relief, posted a league-leading 29 saves. The fireman's performance was such that it became routine to see Ford start and pitch seven innings and then watch Arroyo mop up the final six outs.

The assault of the pitching and the tremendous hitting moved observers to place the 1961 squad in a class with the 1927 Yankees as the greatest clubs of all time.

(QUESTION: The Yanks in '61 won 109 games while being managed by Ralph Houk in his first year after replacing Casey Stengel. Houk did things a bit different than the Ole' Professor had. Do you think you could have won as many games as Houk did in his first year if given the opportunity to take the reins of such a talented and diverse ballclub?

............. To Be Continued

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The excitement builds and builds. I can almost hear what sounds like the theme from "Jaws" playing somewhere in the distance. Eyes wide open, short breaths of air, heart pounding........ 8O 8O 8O 8O

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If I could go back in time I would love to see all of the 1961 Yanks games-my favorite team of all time.

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Did you know...

Whitey Ford's move to first had become so effective that he had only 3 stolen base attempts against him all year - all 3 were thrown out. Ford also had 5 pick-offs.

With Mickey Mantle on deck, Maris hit .293 with a .682 slugging percentage. With Mantle not batting behind Maris, Roger hit .174 and slugged at .365 in 115 at bats. Kind of an ugly stat but #9 is still one of my all-time favorites.

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PaulW,

Now that is the tidbit type of information that continues to add to the realism of this whole Classics experience.

Thanks and hope others provide their input as well.

Pickoff = 15 for The Chairman of the Board is a must ...........

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* 6 1 ................

Detroit's early season run on first place was sparked by the heavy hitting of Norm Cash, Al Kaline, and Rocky Colavito. Cash reached stardom by hitting a league-leading .361 with 41 home runs and 132 RBI's. Kaline remained consistent with a .324 mark, as Colavito hit 45 homers and drove in 140 Tigers. Frank Lary notched 23 victories to take second-place league runner-up honors behind Ford, although his complete games far out distanced the classy southpaw by a 22-11 margin.

Unlike the American League, the National still had eight teams and still played a 154-game schedule. And, unlike the power-bludgeoned junior circuit, the more subdued senior league produced an upset pennant winner in the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds were generally figured as a second division club but led almost all the way under the direction of tough manager Fred Hutchinson. Rookie manager Al Dark kept his San Francisco Giants out front through May, but from June 15, to July 10, the Reds won 21 of 28 to create a five-game bulge over Willie Mays and Company. The Dodgers, hot in July, fought for the top spot until stumbling into a ten-game losing streak in mid-August.

The heart of the Reds' attack came from Frank Robinson, who hit .323, hitting 37 home runs and driving in 124 runs. Vada Pinson hit .343 and Gordy Coleman, who became a full-time player, and Gene Freese, who was obtained from the White Sox, added fuel to the Rhinelander's fire by each belting 26 home runs. Oddly enough, Cincinnati bucked tradition by winning the pennant without a regular middle defense, as Don Blasingame and Elio Chacon shared second base, Eddie Kasko and Leo Cardenas split shortstop, and Jerry Zimmerman, Darrell Johnson, and Johnny Edwards combined to cover the catching duties. On the mound, Bob Purkey, Jim O'Toole, and winter-acquisition Joey Jay were ace starters, while Jim Brosnan and Bill Henry supplied top firefighting in their combined 32 saves.

Despite boasting of the league batting champion in Roberto Clemente, the Pirates fell off to sixth due to the sore arm of Vern Law, the off-season of Bob Friend, and the drop of 50 points in the batting average of D ick Groat, the 1960 league leader. Roy Face, although managing 17 saves to lead the league, lost twice as many as he won and posted a high 3.82 E.R.A.

.................. To Be Continued

(Aw '61 - IF only I could go back .......)

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Norm who? :)

Norm Cash began playing firstbase for Detroit when I was in the fifth grade. He continued there as I finished high school, went to college, went to Vietnam, came back (thankfully), got married, had two children, got divorced and was nearly married again. You seldom can say that about any player these days. Hence my screen name. And my first glove was a firstbaseman's mitt.

Interesting thing about Cash's 1961 season. It seems he used a corked bat all year. He only admitted to "hollowing out the bat to make it quicker" but I think we know better. He stopped doing that after 1961 and, while remaining a very solid hitter, never approached those '61 numbers again. He had a great sense of humor, and I used to marvel at him as I sat in my firstbase seats, the way he could roll the ball up his arm, behind his neck, and down the other arm into his mitt. During Nolan Ryans's 1973 no-hitter at Tiger Stadium, Norm came to the plate late in the game brandishing a thick table leg instead of a bat. The laughing umpire asked him what he was doing, and Norm of course replied "I ain't been able to hit 'im with my bat, so I figured I'd try this."

Norm Cash died young, in about 1985. Characteristically, he got drunk, was wearing cowboy boots while trying to board his boat, fell in and drowned.

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* 6 1 ...........

It was on that Monday April 10th, 1961 at Griffith Stadium in our Nations Capital where this "Season of Seasons" captured the interest of nearly the entire World.

Di ck Donovan took the mound for the perennial doormats of the American League against the Champs from only two seasons pass - the revamped "Go Go White Sox".

Donovan, on the mound, started off in typical Senator fashion by walking the lead off batter Luis Aparicio. Before you could say "Red Schoendienst" Aparicio was teasing Donovan from scoring position which Nellie Fox's grounder helped him get to so quick and easy.

Oh My God ! '61 was already shaping up so much like all those Senator seasons of the past ..............

As predictable, moments later Minnie Minoso connected off of Donovan sending a solid line shot between the stretching arms of third baseman Billy Klaus and short-stopper Coot Veal. Every single person in the stands that had ever witnessed a Senators game before had no doubt the speedy Aparicio would score easily once that shot got to left fielder Marty Keough - who many thought couldn't throw his grandmother out trying to score from second even on a shot like Minoso had just delivered off of Donovan ...........

BUT THEN ----- short-stop Coot Veal lunged forward just enough to snab that sucka and quickly whirled toward 2nd were Aparicio, who was probably as surprised as Veal with what just happened ---- was caught dead in his tracks already almost 1/2 way to third with home plate clearly in his sights ---- and to everyone's amazement when Veal flung that rock to Danny O'Connell straddling --- he actually caught it ! ---- "OUT" the Ump bellowed as he flung his closed fist with raised thumb sending a shock wave throughout Griffith Stadium.

WoW ! that was nice ---- but the Senators bats would have to find a way to somehow score off of Early Wynn during the course of this game and that was no simple task ---- especially for the Senators.

Sending rampant jubilation throughout Griffith Stadium those no-bat Senators rocked the renowned Wynn for 2 runs in the bottom of the very 1st inning on a Gene Woodling triple that scored both Coot Veal and Marty Keough which each had singled in front of Woodling. And to top that ---- the Senators thumped Wynn for another run in the very next inning on 2 more clean hits.

Wynn was DONE !!! Knocked out by the lowly Senators Booming Bats in only 2 innings giving up 5 hits and 3 runs. The Senators were well on their way and '61 was "Lookin' Marvelous !" .......

By the time the 9th inning rolled around D ick Donovan had to face reality that even with his stellar pitching performance in which he allowed only 6 hits through 9 ---- the Senators were still the Senators ---- and 4 errors plus a Hit by a Pitch to Minoso late in the game when he eventually came around to score the winning run in an inning that the Go Go White Sox didn't even chalk up a single hit ---- Did the Senators In ! ......

So as the crowds (those that were left anyway) began to exit Griffith Stadium that cold cloudy day - once again left with their beloved Senators as the undisputed doormats of the American League with a well deserved 0-1 record.

Aw Well -- That was only the beginning of the Season of '61 and not much is remembered about how it all started ---- but what began to unfold shortly thereafter is something movies are made of AND how it ended is something that will be remembered for ages to come !!!

Now that was April 10th, 1961 ------ or was it actually April 10th, 2006 .................

............ To Be Started SOON !!! 6 1 *

----- BE THERE ! & Take Charge of or just Enjoy - HISTORY !!!

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I check this thread about ten times a day looking for these installments and drooling over the "surprise" to come. You're killing me, man! 8O Really do enjoy the build up and just can't wait for "opening day" :lol: Thanks so much for your hard work and for bringing the *61 season alive once again.

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one of the best threads I've come apon. Can't wait to hear more stecropper

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Mantle Maris gearing up for 61

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