Summer, 1961: Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle are on pace to break the most hallowed record in U.S. sports, Babe Ruth's single-season 60 home runs. It's a big story, and the intense, plain-spoken Maris is the bad guy: sports writers bait him and minimize his talent, fans cheer Mantle, the league's golden boy, and baseball's commissioner announces that Ruth's record stands unless it's broken within 154 games. Any record set after 154 games of the new 162-game schedule will have an asterisk. The film follows the boys of summer, on and off the field: their friendship, the stresses on Maris, his frustration with the negative attention, and his desire to play well, win, and go home. Written by
Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Why did America have room in its heart for only one hero?
Did You Know?
Contrary to the film's suggestion (and the widely held public impression), Commissioner Ford Frick
never said that Roger Maris
's home run mark would carry an asterisk because it was set in 162 games, while Babe Ruth
's record was set in 154 games. As Frick said on 21 September, 10 days before Maris hit his 61st homer: "As for that star or asterisk business, I don't know how that cropped up or was attributed to me, because I never said it." Frick said the record books would contain two entries, with the same status. More importantly, he said he took this position because he was convinced baseball would revert back to a 154-game schedule within a few years, and allowing the new records to stand alone would make them unbreakable in a shorter schedule. Most people forget that only the American League, which had expanded to 10 teams, played 162 games in 1961. The National League, which still only had eight teams, played 154 games that year. See more
After the commissioner's decision to make separate records for the 162-game season, Roger Maris
is answering questions while playing catch. When he stops to talk to the reporter (clearly breaking from playing catch), he had just thrown the ball to his partner. When he's done talking, he immediately throws the ball again to his partner, though he never received it during his break. See more
So Mickey uh... you know, Bob and I, we are trying to keep it quiet here, so uh... we'll have a few beers every now and then, but uh...
What, no broads?
After the first set of credits, a father tells his son "That's Mickey Mantle and that's a homerun". The film is then dedicated to director Billy Crystal's father who introduced him to baseball as a child. See more
References The Pride of the Yankees
Put On A Happy Face
Written by Charles Strouse
and Lee Adams See more