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Throughout the summer of 1961 all eyes were on Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris as the two Yankees chased Babe Ruth's seemingly unreachable single-season home run record. As the games ticked by Mantle faltered, his many injuries taking their toll, leaving Maris to continue the chase alone. As he reached number 50 the stress of keeping up the pace and unwanted publicity began to wear on him, yet he battled on. As number 60 loomed, fans became hostile, not wanting Ruth's record to be broken. Still Maris slugged away and finally hit one more than Ruth's 60 on the last day of the season. The aftermath was anti-climactic: Ford Frick, the commissioner of baseball and an old pal of Ruth ruled that an asterisk be placed beside the record because it was accomplished in 162 games, not 154 like Ruth did. Asterisk or no asterisk, Roger Maris' 1961 season was one of the greatest in baseball history and this bat was there for the Yankees’ run to the World Series. 

                The 1961 season was a magical one for the New York Yankees as well as they ran away with the American League pennant with a 109-53 record – a comfortable eight-game margin ahead of the second place Detroit Tigers. With the M&M boys dominating the headlines, it’s easy to forget the 1961 Yankees were loaded with talent and were guided by first-year manager Ralph Houk, who took over for legendary manager Casey Stengel. With the American League won, the Yankees faced the National League pennant winners, the Cincinnati Reds, and their chance to win the franchise’s 19th World Series title.

                With the series even at one game apiece, up to the plate in the top of ninth inning of Game 3 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati was none other than Roger Maris, the new single season home run king. Like 61 times during the regular season, Maris deposited a 2-1 Bob Purkey pitch into deep right field to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead in which they would hold on to taking a crucial 2-1 series lead – a series they would ultimately win in five games. No asterisk for this home run, simply a clutch homer to put the Yankees in the lead for good in the series.

                Goldin Auctions is proud to offer this very rare Roger Maris game used World Series bat from his historic 1961 season and more specifically, the 1961 World Series. Maris gamers from 1961 are very sought after and this gem is from the World Series! Specifically issued for the 1961 World Series, this Hillerich & Bradsby A92 model bat displays minimal use. There are some ball marks on the barrel, along with some cleat imprints and this bat is un-cracked. The bats length (35 inches) and weight (32 ounces) are well within Maris’ specifications and the model number “A92” is stamped on the knob. “WORLD SERIES 1961” is boldly engraved above Maris’s facsimile signature and “NEW YORK YANKEES” on the barrel. This ash bat has a natural finish which now presents a beautiful golden tone. This is a truly historical piece of baseball history and this bat comes with a full LOA from the game experts at Mears, who have graded this Maris World Series gamer a solid A8.

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