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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Roger Maris loses 1960 Home Run race to Mickey Mantle 40-39.

Why look at Roger Maris in 1960? Because it provides a base of comparison to his record setting season of 1961, which, of course, had 5% more games and pitching diluted significantly.

Mickey Mantle was the Home Run king of baseball by 1960, winning his fourth American League (AL) championship in six years and his second Home Run race in three years. In 1958 Mantle had edged Cleveland's Rocky Colavito 42-41.

1958 AL Home Run race. Who "led the league in hitting" ... home runs? Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rocky Colavito (Cleveland Indians) was second with 41...

Mickey Mantle (New York Yankees) was in the first of three HR races: 1958, 1960, 1961. Mantle won the first two. The second and third were against his new teammate Roger Maris, who set the season HR record in the first 162 game schedule with 61 in 1961 when Mantle hit his career high of 54. Mantle led the AL in HR in:
1955 37
1956 52
1958 42
1960 40...

In their careers Colavito and (Bob) Cerv never hit an inside the park HR (IPHR). Sievers hit one: June 28, 1955 in Washington. Mantle hit five, including two early in 1958: May 20 and June 5, both against the White Sox batting lefty, first in Chicago then in Yankee Stadium...

Mantle played in but did not homer in the final three games of the (1958) season: 6 PA, 4 AB in 12 innings Friday and a doubleheader Sunday (4 PA, 3 AB; 4 PA, 4 AB in 8 innings). Mantle left that final game with 3 hits. Since Colavito played only one game that final day, by the 8th inning of Yankee game two the Yankees must have known that Colavito had finished with 41 HR. Leading 6-2, Yankee manager Casey Stengel replaced (Bobby) Shantz on the mound and removed Mantle

Roger Maris hit two HR in his first Yankee game, which was in Boston, in 1960 and two more in Kansas City on Aug. 6 in Yankee game 99 to give Maris 35 HR.


HR: Roger Maris 2 (35, 1 off Dick Hall, 3rd inn, 1 on, 2 outs to Deep CF, 1 off Ned Garver, 5th inn, 2 on, 2 outs to Deep CF).

Mantle had hit number 27 July 31 and so trailed Maris 35-27. Eventually, Mantle beat out Maris 40-39 to lead the AL in 1960.

What happened to Maris? He was injured. And then he slumped.

Mickey Mantle was benched for not hustling in 1960.  Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Washington Senators (55-56) at New York Yankees (62-45)
Sunday, August 14, 1960
Start Time: 6:02 p.m. ET
Attendance: 29,970
Venue: Yankee Stadium I
Game Duration: 4:26
Night Game, on grass
Second game of doubleheader; Washington won game one 5-4
Senators 6, Yankees 3 in 15 innings

Bottom of the 6th, Yankees Batting, Behind 0-1, Senators' Jack Kralick facing 1-2-3

Boyer singles
Maris singles, Boyer to third
Lopez grounds out SS-2B, Boyer scores tie run (Maris slides into second to break up DP)
Mantle GDP (does not run it out) 3B-2B-1B. After the inning:

Joe DeMaestri replaces Roger Maris (RF) playing SS batting 2nd​ ​Bob Cerv replaces Mickey Mantle (CF) playing LF batting 4th​ ​Tony Kubek moves from SS to CF Hector Lopez moves from LF to RF

Maris was injured on the slide. Yankee manager Casey Stengel, not in a good mood after losing game one of the doubleheader at home, was apparently furious with Mantle for not hustling and Stengel pulled Mantle as punishment. Stengel probably didn't realize that Maris could not continue when he replaced Mantle and then was faced with removing two of his starting outfielders in a 1-1 game. That must have made Stengel even more mad at Mantle. The Yankees eventually lost in 15 innings increasing the tension.

The local newspapers excoriated Mantle, who was cast in an especially bad light because Maris had just been injured while playing hard.

The next day, Aug. 15,  Mantle redeemed himself by hitting two homers, including the game winner to beat Baltimore at the Stadium 4-3. Mantle now had 29 homers, but still six behind Maris.


HR: Mickey Mantle 2 (29, 1 off Jerry Walker, 4th inn, 1 on, 0 outs to Deep RF, 1 off Hoyt Wilhelm, 8th inn, 1 on, 0 outs to Deep RF).

Maris missed Yankee games 109-117, nine games, 4 home, 5 road

Friday, August 26, 1960
Start Time: 6:02 p.m. ET
Venue: Yankee Stadium I
Game Duration: 3:45
Night Game, on grass
First game of doubleheader
Yankees 7, Cleveland 6 in 11 innings

Top of the 8th, Indians Batting, Ahead 5-3, Yankees' Jim Coates facing 5-6-7
Roger Maris pinch hits for Clete Boyer (3B) batting 1st
Roger Maris against Johnny Klippstein Single to RF; McDougald Scores; DeMaestri to 2B
Eli Grba pinch runs for Roger Maris (PH) batting 1st
Duke Maas replaces Eli Grba (PR) pitching and batting 1st

Maris then missed Yankees game 123-125, three games, all home.

Sunday, August 28, 1960 Yankee Stadium First game of doubleheader
Tigers 6, Yankees 2
8th inning down 6-2
Hank Aguirre (lefty) replaces Dave Sisler pitching and batting 9th
Roger Maris pinch hits for Ryne Duren (P) batting 9th
Maris strikes out
9th inning
Whitey Ford replaces Roger Maris (PH) pitching and batting 9th

Starting August 29, 1960 Maris played regularly but went hitless in the first five of those games. Maris did not homer again until September 8, 1960, Yankee game 134, in Chicago, his only hit in five AB; it was an IPHR to deep center off lefty Billy Pierce. By then Mantle had 32. Maris led 36-32. The home run race was on.

Maris recovered his home run swing, hitting three in four games, but simply fizzled down the stretch against Mantle. Even after Mantle hit two homers to pass Maris, Roger still did not respond in the final three game series at home against the Red Sox. Maris played complete games in the first two, then only five innings in the final game. Maris had 12 PA. Mantle played 4, 4, 2 innings with only 5 PA. The Yanks had one tie game in 1960 and so played 155. Manager Casey Stengel had given Maris every opportunity to pass Mantle, as Stengel had given Mantle opportunities to remain ahead of Rocky Colavito in the final games of 1958.

Mantle homers 39 and 40:


HR: Mickey Mantle 2 (40, 2 off Chuck Stobbs, 1st inn, 1 on, 2 outs to Deep LF-CF; 5th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep LF-CF); Clete Boyer (14, off Chuck Stobbs, 5th inn, 1 on, 1 out to Deep LF).

Mickey Mantle: 565 foot home run, then bunt single in the same game!  Tuesday, May 13, 2014

OK, it wasn't really 565 feet but the legend was built on that number ...

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962): "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." ...

The physics of baseball now assure us that such a feat is impossible...

(inning) 5 - against Stobbs, 2 out, Berra on first Yanks up 2-1: HR "measured" at 565 feet, which is probably exaggerated but helped establish the Mantle legend ...

Batting righty against southpaw Chuck Stobbs, Mantle hit his legendary home run.  Then later batting lefty against 5'8" Cuban Julio Moreno, Mantle had a bunt single.

Yes, that Chuck Stobbs.

1960 Totals1361315784999814118739112227065.283.371.581.952290631548.255100164

1960 Totals1531506435261191451764094143111124.276.400.559.9592941110563.286100168

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