• 18. Maris does it in 162 as Yankees clinch

    It was the home stretch of the 1961 season. The New York Yankees had widened their first place lead considerably over the Detroit Tigers. The nation, meanwhile, was still captivated by the chase of Babe Ruth's single-season mark home run. With Mickey Mantle injured, it was now his teammate Roger Maris vs. Babe Ruth. Even President John F. Kennedy was enthralled by the race.

    As for the pennant, the Yankees would clinch on the night Maris needed his 60th home run to tie Babe Ruth in 154 games. The World Series between the Yankees and Cincinnati Reds was almost an afterthought.

    I cover it all here in this final episode of the Baseball Sixty One podcast. I hope you enjoyed the podcast, as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

    29m - Sep 23, 2021
  • 17. Yanks on a tear. Piersall attacked at Stadium

    As the 1961 season was winding down, the New York Yankees went on a tear, reeling off 13 consecutive wins. Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris continued to hit home runs, but a disturbing incident at Yankee Stadium, highlighted a doubleheader between the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians.

    On Sep. 10, in the first game of a doubleheader, Indians outfielder Jimmy Piersall was attacked by two fans, but Piersall fought back. It was one of several incidents that highlighted a bizarre afternoon of baseball at the "big ballpark in the Bronx," as Yankees' broadcaster Red Barber used to refer to the Stadium.

    All this and more highlight the latest episode of my Baseball Sixty One podcast.

    25m - Sep 13, 2021
  • 16. A nation is captivated and its on to Hollywood

    A nation had become captivated with the home run race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, as the Yankee teammates tried to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 154 games. Publications, even those not devoted to sports, started weighing in on the battle. Meanwhile, the Yankees surged into first place, but were still trying to fend off the Detroit Tigers, before a Labor Day weekend showdown series at Yankee Stadium.

    The race did have some lighter moments, namely Mantle, Maris and Yogi Berra heading to Hollywood.

    We cover it all, including the Dodgers nosedive in the National League, in this latest episode.

    28m - Aug 25, 2021
  • 15. Williams predicts; M&M asked about edict

    The home run race is full steam ahead for Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, as the Yankees maintain their grip on first place. While appearing on broadcaster Red Barber’s Yankees pregame show, Mantle and Maris are asked about Commissioner Ford Frick’s edict that in order to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record they would have to do it within 154 games and not the new 162-game season.

    Recently retired slugger Ted Williams also makes a prediction about the home run race and the 1961 World Series winner. And to add even more fuel to the fire, Yankees manager Ralph Houk is fined and suspended for five games.

    All this and more are a part of this latest episode.

    21m - Aug 12, 2021
  • 14. Frick spoils race. Mantle and Maris red-hot

    As the nation became riveted on the home run race between the Yankees's Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to see if they would break Babe Ruth's single-season home run mark, commissioner Ford Frick tried to spoil the occasion. So much for marketing. Frick, who once was Ruth's ghost writer, said the record would have to be broken in 154 games - the length of the seasons when Ruth played - and not the expanded 162 game season. The decision did not sit well with Yankees manager Ralph Houk or the media.

    As for Mantle and Maris, they were surging as they moved well ahead of Ruth's pace, blasting one home run after another. Meanwhile, the Yankees and Tigers continued their torrid American League pennant race, while the Dodgers were giving the first place Reds a run for their money in the National League.

    29m - Jul 26, 2021
  • 13. Wind highlights All-Star game

    The Yankees were moving in and out of first place in their battle for the American League lead. Meanwhile, Roger Maris was hitting home runs at a record pace, surging two weeks ahead of Babe Ruth's record-setting pace. Mickey Mantle was also starting to hit home runs.

    But the story was the first of two All-Star games. In the American League-National League confrontation, the wind was so predominant at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, some American Leaguers vowed to never play there, if traded to the Giants.

    As for the Yankees, they began their road trip after the All-Star break, on a high note.

    20m - Jul 19, 2021
  • 12. Yanks taste first. Stadium jammed on 4th

    The New York Yankees tasted first place again, although briefly, but they returned from their nearly two-week long road trip poised to make a move. On tap was an 11-game home stand, featuring the Senators, Tigers, Indians and Red Sox.

    Of course, all eyes were on the big showdown 4th of July doubleheader between the Yankees and the Tigers. With a walk-up sale of more than 40,000 tickets, the Yankees drew their largest crowd since 1947, as 75,900 fans jammed Yankee Stadium. What they witnessed was a doubleheader that lived up to the pennant race being staged by these two ball clubs, featuring a triple-steal, two-out bunt and much more.

    As for the home run race, Mantle and Maris had also picked up the pace, with the media starting to report how many games they were ahead of Babe Ruth. The ingredients were in a place for a fun summer.

    35m - Jul 7, 2021
  • 11. Yankees reach first; Maris on homer binge

    For the first time in 1961 the New York Yankees reached first place, albeit a short-lived stay. But Roger Maris was on fire hitting home runs everywhere he played. Not to be outdone, Mickey Mantle started to belt some round-trippers, after a home run drought, as the Yankees seemed to be turning things around.

    Would the New York surge continue? New York was about to embark on a five city road trip that would keep them away from Yankee Stadium for more than two weeks, after a successful home stand. And the ball club's front office was also busy making trades as the trade deadline approached.

    The season was heating up and so it appeared were the Yankees.

    27m - Jun 20, 2021
  • 10. Yanks surge and Koufax makes headlines

    After playing mediocre baseball through the first two months of the season, the New York Yankees started hitting their stride. Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were slugging home runs, but so were the Yankees in general. The pitching was starting to shore up and the American League was developing a tight three-way race with the Yanks, Tigers and Indians.

    In the National League, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax was making headlines. It seems hard to believe, but Koufax wasn't always the ace of the staff. As it turned out, 1961 was the turning point in a career that put him on a path to the Hall of Fame.

    There was also talk of making doubleheaders shorter and bringing back the spitball. And adding to a week of trades and other intrigue, there were more bonus signings and the sale of a major league ball club.

    The first 10 days of June, brought plenty of upheaval in the 1961 season.

    33m - Jun 10, 2021
  • 09. Yanks stumble but Mantle and Maris heat up

    The New York Yankees continued to play up-and-down baseball, entering the month of June, seemingly winning one and losing one. But the bats of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were starting to heat up. The weather was not cooperating, remaining unseasonably cold and wet, but the M&M boys were beginning to surge, offering hope for the Yankees and manager Ralph Houk.

    The surest sign things were improving was Memorial Day at Fenway Park, when Mantle and Maris each belted two home runs, as part of a seven-homer New York barrage in a 12-3 pasting of the Red Sox.

    The action radio broadcast of that game exists with Mel Allen and Phil Rizzuto at the mic for the Yankees. Click HERE for the link.

    21m - Jun 1, 2021
  • 08. Yankees show life; Topping with big announcement

    The Yankees began showing some life, after sputtering at the start of a brief, two-game road trip to Cleveland. Roger Maris seemed to be finding his home run stroke.

    Off the field, a fan found a $50,000 check the Yankees had sent out west. Meanwhile co-owner Dan Topping had a big announcement about an exhibition game and at the same time dug deep into his and co-owner Del Webb's wallet to dole out their biggest signing bonus in the ball club's history.

    Maybe Topping and Webb were being generous. As the weather warmed, the turnstiles were beginning to click at Yankee Stadium.

    24m - May 26, 2021
  • 07. The Yankees slump; Mays makes great catch

    It seems hard to believe, but the 1961 New York Yankees did have a slump, at home no less, against a first place team and an expansion club. In fact, in this episode, we learn that the Yankees actually sputtered for some time out of the gates, that Mickey Mantle was playing hurt and Roger Maris had yet to find his power stroke.

    Meanwhile, Willie Mays turned in a catch that his manager claimed was greater than the grab he made off of Vic Wertz in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series.

    All that and much more will be covered in this episode, including how a league executive scolded an umpire for getting into an on-air beef with a manager, during a radio talk show. Yes, they had those in 1961 too.

    21m - May 18, 2021
  • 06. Yanks head to LA; Mantle slumps

    The Yankees continued their 4-city, 10-game road trip by making their first visit to Los Angeles to play the expansion Angels, but the result was not what was expected. By the time New York headed to Kansas City, the trade wins were blowing.

    Once in KC, more problems for the Bombers, and this time it was some ex-Yankees who stirred the pot. Would New York right the course, before returning home to open a big, early-season series against the first place Detroit Tigers?

    20m - May 10, 2021
  • 05. Mantle continues surge; Maris heats up

    Mickey Mantle continued his early season surge for the New York Yankees on a road trip through Washington and Minnesota. Mantle, booed regularly at home, was beginning to turn those boos to cheers with one of the greatest starts to a season in his career. Roger Maris was also showing signs of getting his season on track, as the calendar turned from April to May.

    Not to be outdone, Willie Mays was making noise in the National League with a historic performance. Even 40-year-old Warren Spahn was turning heads. However, the first home game ever played by the Los Angeles Angels turned out to be a disappointment, even though a star-studded contingent attended their first game at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.

    22m - May 4, 2021
  • 04. Mantle surges; Maris hits first home run

    The New York Yankees embark on their first road trip of the 1961 season and Mickey Mantle continues his power show, surging ahead of his 1960 home run pace and that of Babe Ruth in 1927. Roger Maris also homers for the first time, but the Yankees stumble after starting the road trip with a victory in Baltimore.

    Meanwhile, pitcher Whitey Ford comes in for some criticism from his pitching coach Johnny Sain and rumors abound the Yankees and Tigers could be talking trade for Detroit slugger and Bronx native Rocky Colavito.

    And if that is not enough, popular, ex-Yankee Billy Martin is in the news, claiming he never started a fight.

    All that and more in this latest episode of Baseball Sixty One.

    24m - Apr 27, 2021
  • 03. Yankees right ship in fast start

    After losing on Opening Day to the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees stall in developing any momentum, because of numerous rain outs. Three games are postponed over the season's first eight days. Finally, they notch their first win of the 1961 season, only to face a doubleheader rain out the next day.

    The Yankees manage to make up one of the games rained out in the doubleheader, but they do it in front one of the smallest crowds in Yankee Stadium history. If that is not enough, weather issues persist, before the Yankees conclude their first homestand of the season on a successful note. Mickey Mantle's torrid bat helps to warm the proceedings, before New York embarks on its first road trip of the season, under first year manager Ralph Houk.

    14m - Apr 20, 2021
  • 02. Yankees drop opener

    Amid the pomp and circumstance of the 1961 season opener, the New York Yankees laid an egg, losing to the Minnesota Twins, 6-0. Who could have predicted this would be a historic season, when home run records would fall, after the Bombers could muster only three singles against a pitcher who would someday have his part in Yankees' history?

    In episode 2 the days leading up to the Yankees' opener are explored, as well as what happened in the ensuing days, following the disappointing defeat to the Twins.

    Here is the link to the Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles game discussed in the podcast.

    24m - Apr 13, 2021
  • 01. Introduction to Baseball Sixty One

    Sportscaster Dan Lovallo provides a synopsis of his Baseball Sixty One podcast, previewing what to expect from the podcast and touching on spring training for the 1961 New York Yankees.

    E1 - 14m - Apr 8, 2021
Audio Player Image
Baseball Sixty One