Roger Maris, Ford Frick and the asterisk (*) for 61 Home Runs in 1961. Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Excerpts from old research:
... baseball commissioner Ford Frick, a former writer and an old friend of Ruth's. In late October 1960 Frick was quoted in the New York Times as saying: "It's a question that has been bothering me for some time. The principal records in the book seem safe … My opinion on that (Babe's record of 60) is almost a conviction. I don't think the Babe's record is vulnerable … but I intend to ask the rules committee to study this problem and try to soften the impact when necessary. My own idea is that some records might deserve to be listed in two categories - the one made during a 154-game schedule and the other one made during a 162-game schedule."
Games above are the number for the player. But did he reach 60 homers in his team's first 154 games?
Both the 1927 and 1961 Yankees played a tie game and so the team played 155 and 163 games respectively. Ruth broke his 1921 record of 59 HR when he hit number 60 in Yankee game 154 at the Stadium. Ruth did not homer in the final game, number 155.
In 1961 Maris for some reason was allowed that extra game, too, since the Yankees had already played their tie game way back on April 22, 1961 in Baltimore. Maris reached Yankee game 155 with 58 HR. Maris hit number 59 in that fateful night game Sept. 20, 1961, also in Baltimore. Maris would eventually tie and then pass Ruth in Yankee Stadium in Yankee games 159 and 163.
But what of Bonds, McGwire, Sosa? Here are the team game numbers for when they hit home runs 59, 60, 61.
Maris was last for all three home runs, taking the most team games to hit them. Bonds and McGwire were almost dead even for the lead. After they hit number 60, they had 21 games remaining. McGwire hit another 10 and Bonds hit another 13. Amazing no matter what they were using.
So the performance enhancing drug (PED) users out performed Maris.