This Week in 1960s Baseball
(April 16, 1961) Mickey Mantle’s tenth-inning home run – a two-run shot off Hank Aguirre (0-1) – propelled the New York Yankees to victory today over the Detroit Tigers in a 13-11 slugfest.
Mickey Mantle was the hitting star of the day, with two home runs and four RBIs.
Mantle’s game-winning home run was his second of the day and seventh of the season. Mantle drove in four runs to give him 15 RBIs on the young season.
The winning pitcher for the Yankees was Luis Arroyo (1-0). Arroyo pitched the final two innings for the victory, shutting out the Tigers and striking out three.
Two Detroit players – Norm Cash and Chico Fernandez – each had three RBIs for the Tigers. Rocky Colavito hit his third home run of the season in the second inning off Yankee starter Whitey Ford.
Two Yankee batters hit their first home runs of the 1961 season. Shortstop Tony Kubek hit a solo home run off Detroit starter Don Mossi in the second inning. In the fifth inning, Yankee right fielder Roger Maris hit his first home run of the season off Paul Foytack.
The reigning American League MVP, Roger Maris finally got his first home run of the 1961 season in the eleventh game. He would hit a lot more (and repeat as MVP).
Maris had struggled at the plate during the Yankees first 10 games of the season. He came into this game batting only .161 with no home runs and only one run batted in. His bat would warm up with the weather, hitting 11 home runs in May and 15 in June on his way to a record 61 by season’s end, eclipsing Babe Ruth’s single-season record.