Oct. 1, 1961
On the last day of the Yankees’ 1961 season, outfielder Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s 60 single-season home-run record — which had been in place for 34 years — by hitting his 61st against the Boston Red Sox. Maris hit the homer into the right-field stands in Yankee Stadium against Boston’s Tracy Stallard in the fourth inning. Sal Durante, a truck driver from Brooklyn, caught the ball and tried to return it to Maris after the game, but the star declined and said Durante should keep it and receive the bounty. Restaurateur Sam Gordon from Sacramento, Calif., later paid Durante $5,000 for the ball, displayed it for some time and then returned it to Maris. It’s now in the Hall of Fame.
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