This Day In Sports History (September 26th) — Roger Maris
It was on this day in 1961 that Roger Maris hit his 60th home run of the season, tying Babe Ruth’s record for most home runs in a single season.
The 1961 season marked the first season that the MLB extended its schedule to 162 games. Prior to the start of the season, Maris was asked if he thought the addition of eight more games would put Ruth’s home run record at risk. He responded by saying, “Nobody will touch it… Look up the records and you’ll see that it’s a rare year when anybody hits 50 homers, let alone 60.” That turned out to be far from the case, as Maris hit his 60th home run on September 26th off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jack Fisher. He would hit his 61st on October 1st against the Boston Red Sox.
Maris’ mark would eventually be eclipsed by Sammy Sosa three times (66, 63, 64 in 1998, 1999 and 2001, respectively), Mark McGuire twice (70 and 65 in 1998 and 1999, respectively) and Barry Bonds once (73 in 2001).
Here is a footage of Red Barber calling Roger Maris’ 61st home run in 1961.
Serena Williams, WTA – Born on September 26, 1981 (age 32) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Henrik and Daniel Sedin, NHL – Born on September 26, 1980 (age 33) in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
Michael Ballack, Soccer – Born on September 26, 1976 (age 37) in Gorlitz, Germany