It sounds memorable enough to simply call it the 240th home run of the Yankees’ record-breaking 1961 season. But it was “61 in 61,” and the greatest significance of Roger Maris‘s 61st home run of that season off Boston’s Tracy Stallard on October 1 was that it finally put an end to the Yankee right fielder’s tortured race to surpass Babe Ruth‘s 1927 record. It was the only score in a 1-0 Yankee win,
The Yankees took the last of four from Boston on October 1, 2015, by a 4-1 score, and in so doing won the 10,000th game in franchise history.
Babe Ruth homered in a 6-5 season-ending win over the Red Sox on October 1, 1933. It was also the final pitching appearance of his career, and he threw a complete game.
On October 1, 1978, with the Yanks holding a one-game lead with one to play, Rick Waits of Cleveland beat them 9-2 in the Bronx as the Red Sox rode a Luis Tiant 5-0 shutout over Toronto to forge a 162-game deadlock. More on this tomorrow.
It was on October 1, 1932, that Babe Ruth gestured after Charlie Root of the Cubs had two strikes on him in the fifth inning. Legend has it that he was pointing and calling where he would homer on the next pitch, but Root always swore that Ruth was only confirming that that was strike two. The Babe followed by stroking his second homer of a game in which Lou Gehrig also went yard twice, as the Yanks coasted to a 7-5 win.
Roberto Kelly (1964) stands out among seven Yankee October 1 birthdays. His Yank home run and rbi totals of 56 and 258 from 1987 through 1992, when he was traded for Paul O’Neill, were each augmented by one when he returned in an injury-shortened 2000 season. He spent most of the years in between with Cinncy, Minnesota, and Texas.