A 1960s stamp commemorates the race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle to break Babe Ruth’s record of sixty home runs in a single season, set in 1927.
Maris and Mantle quested after number sixty-one until Mantle developed season-ending hip problems in September. Maris continued alone, achieving his record in the last game of the regular season—but not everyone cheered. He had vanquished baseball’s greatest hero and a record that Yankee fans believed would stand forever, and many resented him for it. (Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick famously pointed out that seasons were shorter in Ruth’s day and Maris had needed the extra at bats.) Only three players have since broken Maris’ record, all of them implicated in the 1990s steroid scandal.
Chief curator Daniel Piazza shares intimate knowledge, little-known facts and secrets about the stories told in “Baseball: America’s Home Run,” highlighting some of the spectacular objects on display, including discussions with key lenders to the exhibition on artifacts never-before displayed for pubic view.