movie, directed by Billy Crystal
, about the efforts of Mickey Mantle
and Roger Maris
to hit a record 61
homeruns in 1961, chasing the record of 60 set by Babe Ruth
Crystal cast 2 relative unknowns as Mantle and Maris (Thomas Jane and Barry Pepper, respectively), but their physical resemblance to the 2 Yankees is quite impressive.
The film deals with the tension faced by the two men, the reactions of teammates, media and fans to the race (Mantle was a favorite of many, while Maris was viewed as more of an outsider, despite both of them being teammates).
Interestingly, Crystal shot the film at Tiger Stadium. Since the stadium is empty (the Tigers now play at Comerica Park), this let Crystal manipulate the stadium to look like Yankee Stadium circa 1961.
The title of the film is a reference to baseball commissioner Ford Frick deciding that if the record was not set in 154 games (when Ruth played the season was 154 games; in 1961, it was 162 games), there would be an asterisk next to the record, in effect marring it. (This is also dealt with in the film).
61* aired on April 28, 2001 on HBO.