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
The third deck at the stadium was added digitally in post-production. When Mickey Mantle
and Roger Maris
are doing batting practice near the beginning of the movie, in two shots you see the ball go into the stands, and fall through the third deck onto the second. See more
[Mickey Mantle just switched from right hand to left hand during batting practice
Oh, look at this. Mr. Ambidextrial.
Ambidextrial, you know... this side, that side.
Yankee Stadium played by Tiger Stadium See more
Features The Ed Sullivan Show
I Like It Like That
Written by Allen Toussaint
(as Allen Troussaint) & Chris Kenner
Performed by Chris Kenner
Courtesy of Charly Licensing APS See more