Sunday, September 09, 2007

Chasing 61

With Alex Rodriguez on a tear lately, it looks as though he's got his sights set on the Yankee's club HR record of 61 set by Roger Maris. And it brings up an interesting question: with all the unknowns surrounding Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and steroids, would A-Rod hitting 62 home runs this season mean something as far as the record books are concerned?

As far as the official MLB records go, no it won't. Until Major League baseball can prove that Bonds and Co. were juicing, those records still stand. But in the hearts and minds of some fans, A-Rod reaching 61 in a post-steroids era does mean something. To a lot of people, should he pass Maris, it would be the first "clean" break of the single season home run record. And in a way, that's fitting, because Maris was chasing another Yankee in that magical 1961 season, as was Mickey Mantle. We forget that Mantle was battling Maris all season long, and ended up with just six dingers shy of 60 himself.

New York Yankees Single Season Home Run Records

  • Roger Maris 61 - 1961
  • Babe Ruth 60 - 1927
  • Babe Ruth 59 - 1921
  • Babe Ruth 54 - 1920
  • Babe Ruth 54 - 1928
  • Mickey Mantle 54 - 1961
  • Mickey Mantle 52 -1956
  • Alex Rodriguez 52 - 2007 (as of 9/10)
  • Babe Ruth 49 -1930
  • Lou Gehrig 49 -1936
  • Lou Gehrig 49 -1934
That's rare company for A-Rod; and maybe how it should be. If anyone's going to hit 61+ in the Post-Steroids Era, it might as well be a Yankee.

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