Books | Sports

April 29, 2010

How the Press Broke a Record Breaker

In a new biography of Roger Maris, Danny Peary explores the slugger's contentious relationship with a press bent on protecting the marks and legends of prior Yankees greats.

Tom Flynn

In Billy Crystal's 61*, Barry Pepper plays Roger Maris with what appears to be a little too much melodrama. At first, Maris is depicted as an "aw shucks" small-town Midwesterner who arrives in New York in 1960 and begins immediately belting round-trippers, while returning the Yankees to the World Series and winning the American League MVP award in the process. The next year, he hits homers at a more prolific rate than in '60. But instead of embracing him, the home fans boo him, send him hate mail, and snap up newspaper accounts that rip Maris for making a run at Babe Ruth's single-season home-run record. It sounds both laughable and a tad Orwellian, two things not on the short list of what baseball buffs are looking for in their biographies. It's also all true.

Post a comment

Comment Rules

The following HTML is allowed in comments:
Bold: <b>Text</b>
Italic: <i>Text</i>
<a href="URL">Text</a>


Article by Tom Flynn

Contact this author