In March, on my Twitter account, with the help of The New York Times Time Machine, I started recreating the New York Yankees 1961 baseball season.
It was Major League Baseball’s first season of expansion to ten teams in a league. 1961, the American League is the first to expand to ten teams, with the National League expanding in 1962. This expansion also created an unbalanced number of the game each league would play in 1961. Ten teams had to alter the traditional 154 game schedule and extended it by eight games to 162. The addition of those eight games would haunt the 1961 season and Roger Maris for years.
Screen Grab One: Yankees Season
On Memorial Day 1961, the Cincinnati Reds sweep a doubleheader from the San Francisco Giants, leaving both teams tied for first place, with Los Angeles Dodgers just 0.10% behind. Until late September, the Dodgers teams would be chasing the Reds. In the American League, the Detroit Tigers, with a 4.5 game lead over the Yankees, continue to play well with their heavy-hitting lineup carrying them. The Yankees have started to improve. On May 30, 1961, Mantle and Maris each connected for two home runs apiece. From this point, forward Mantle and Maris would continue to hit home runs at a record pace, ultimately with Maris hitting 61 and Mantle 54 home run.
Screen Grab Two: SF Giants, Dodgers Reds