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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ford Frick


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


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Release Date:

28 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

61  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


As a close friend of Mickey Mantle and his family, Billy Crystal was given permission by Mantle's family to honestly portray Mickey's drinking and carousing. Many of the moments in the movie of Mickey getting drunk really happened. This includes Mickey getting drunk and calling home at 2am from his hotel room as in the scene following the death threats to Roger Maris and his family. See more »


When Roger Maris is talking with his wife from a payphone after the birth of their son, Randy J. Maris, he's talking on a payphone that is a single-slot model. In 1961, the three slot version (25 cent, 10 cent 5 cent) was still in use. The single-slot phone was not introduced until 1965. See more »


Whitey Ford: [Sotto voce, to Mickey Mantle] This guy died and nobody told him.
Commissioner Ford Frick: As I stand here this afternoon, it is impossible not to think of the Babe; not to feel his presence here even now. He was more than a ball player. He was everything that is special about this game. He was everything that is special about America.
Mickey Mantle: [Sotto voce, to Whitey] I bet I got more pussy than he did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 17 July 2015 (2015) See more »


Written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
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User Reviews

A Beautiful Friendship
13 December 2004 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

First off, I'm a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and thus not much of a Yankees fan. However, this may be one of the best baseball movies, if not one of the best sports films, ever made; even though baseball fans know how the story ends, your emotions will be stirred and you will find yourself rooting for these two players whether or not you have a preference for pinstripes.

Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane steal the show as Maris and Mantle, two Yankee teammates that form an alliance to help carry them through the turmolterous race to break the single-season home run record of Babe Ruth in 1961. While everyone from the press box to the peanut vendor appears to favor seeing the lovable Mick, even the commissioner of baseball seems to have an agenda against the misunderstood Maris. Trying to eclipse a mark of a legend against such adversity proves to be no easy task for either player, and the film does a great job of demonstrating the pressure that each player experienced from his own angle.

Director and noted Yankees fan Billy Crystal obviously put his heart and soul into directing and producing this masterpiece and deserves credit for putting an honest face on the race to the home run record between these two legends. Most impressive was how much care was taken to make the actors appear to step comfortably into the roles of each player; Jane and Pepper appear and act so much like "the M&M boys" that it's spooky. Being a passionate fan of the game probably puts a bias on this review but, even if you don't know the difference between a squeeze play and a double play, it's a great story about friendship and facing odds.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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