Last night I re-watched part of 61* and remembered why I enjoy the movie so much. Â I saw it with my brother, and we started talking about the home run record, and who’s broken it since Maris. Â We agreed that Maris is the last true record-holder, since he was the last one to break the record without “juicing.”
McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds all tested positive for steroid use (as if that was really a surprise, yes, I’m looking at you McGwire). Â Yes, they broke the record, but we will never know if they were able to do it without the help of a foreign substance. Â Maris broke Ruth’s record when it seemed that most people–including some of his teammates–were rooting against him, since they wanted Mantle, the “true” Yankee to win instead.
Maris, unlike Mantle or Ruth or DiMaggio, wasn’t a flashy player or a voluble interviewee. Â He considered baseball his job, and he was glad to be able to play. Â He is the last real home run king.