Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle race to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

Aiming for one of the most famed records in sports history, a pair of very different baseball players hit home runs at an impressive rate. Roger Maris, a reserved sort, is much less popular than his hard-partying New York Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle, the player who many observers think will be the one to challenge Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in one season. But in the summer of 1961, Maris surges ahead of Mantle, making a run at Ruth's mark. Written by Jwelch5742

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Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Why did America have room in its heart for only one hero?


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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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28 April 2001 (USA)  »

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61  »

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Most of the details of the games recreated for the film were based on Billy Crystal's first hand memories of having seen or watched the actual games. As a result, the film's crew members nicknamed him "Rain Man" for his uncanny ability to remember the games to the smallest detail. See more »

Goofs

When Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris are playing catch, a reporter tells Maris that Babe Ruth hit .343 the year he hit 60 home runs in 1927. Ruth actually hit .356 that year, and never hit .343 during any of his 22 seasons. See more »

Quotes

[on Maris's failure to hit 61 homers in 154 games]
Milt Kahn: He had a great season.
Artie Green: Aaah, the pressure got to him.
Milt Kahn: You ever play baseball, Artie?
Artie Green: No. Not really.
Milt Kahn: That's what I thought.
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Crazy Credits

Yankee Stadium played by Tiger Stadium See more »

Connections

Featured in Tell Them Who You Are (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Talk To Me Lonesome Heart
Written by James O'Gwynn
Performed by George Jones
Courtesy of Mercury Nashville
Under License From Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Perhaps best baseball movie ever
19 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

So superb was the job Billy Crystal did on this movie that it is the best baseball (even sports) film I have ever seen. Every detail is meticulously worked out, even more accurately, I believe, than in The Titanic (which, contrary to popular belief, had a few inaccuracies). And while a strong effort in getting look alikes can never completely pay off with so many people involved, how about Barry Pepper as Maris? (Of course, the most important person.)

Mickey Mantle's faults are brought out unrestrainedly by perhaps his No. 1 fan, and yet he still comes across in a positive light, as he should. Maris's problems with the press are also portrayed sympathetically, and yet so are members of the press, who are personalized and humanized and have their side also fairly presented. Particularly moving was the scene at the end where a press person who had been at odds with Maris is cheering him on to break the record. An ornamental portrayal of Pat Maris would of course not be tolerated, but Crystal makes an extra, very successful effort at making her an important part of the film with great character development and a thoughtful inclusion of her problems. In fact, I find it hard to think of another movie in which there is such an absence of plastic people. And in spite of the post-Ball Four attitudes about how athletes really are, this movie appears to be accurate in presenting Maris as a good Catholic (and relatively nonboozing) family man.

Yankee haters may not be into this film as much as Yankee lovers, but in any event it brilliantly captures the Yankee mystique (and dominance in this particular season) in the early 60s. Were they the apotheosis of the pre-Vietnam, All-American ideal? If you are one of those people whose main complaint about movies these days is more than specific factors, but the general lack of anything uplifting, see this movie. More in the modern vein than, say, Pride of the Yankees, but no less uplifting.


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