This Week in 1960s Baseball
(November 15, 1961) For the second consecutive year, Roger Maris has been named the American League’s Most Valuable Player.
The new single-season home run record holder edged his New York Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle by four votes, 202-198.
The 1961 season was a banner year for Maris in nearly every hitting category. In addition to setting a new single-season home run record with 61, Maris also led the American League with 132 runs scored and 141 runs batted in. He also led the major leagues with 366 total bases.
It was the second consecutive season when Maris led the league in RBIs. He knocked in 112 runs in his 1960 MVP season.
The biggest difference between 1960 and 1961 for Maris (and his Yankee teammates) was how October turned out. In 1960, the Yankees lost a heart-breaking seven-game World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the 1961 World Series, the Yankees reclaimed the baseball championship by beating the Cincinnati Reds in five games.