Saturday, October 01, 2011

Roger Maris Hit an Historic Home Run 50 Years Ago Today

Roger Maris made baseball history on October 1st, 1961 at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox. His 61st home run passed Babe Ruth for the most in a single season. It was a year in which the stars aligned for Maris, one that he sometimes wished had never happened. It wasn't until later that he appreciated it a lot more.

I'm not sure I've ever seen this video, taken from the broadcast on channel 11 (WPIX). Red Barber makes the professional, low-key call (joined by Mel Allen at the end, not a common thing at the time given that analysts weren't common yet). Of course we've all heard Phil Rizzuto's radio call ("Holy cow! Sixty-one for Maris!"). It's very cool to see the TV broadcast.

Maris was a classy, wonderful man, who died far-too-young, in 1985.

Congratulations, Roger, 50 years later.

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