The Tigers and Yankees in ’61

A Pennant Race for the Ages, the Babe’s Record Broken and Stormin’ Norman’s Greatest Season


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About the Book

The Detroit Tigers gave a memorable performance in the pennant race against the New York Yankees in 1961, the American League’s first expansion season. Starting faster, the Tigers held first place for more than half the season, until the Yankees caught up in late July.
They met in a climactic three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx Bombers swept all three, winning the pennant for the eleventh time in 13 seasons. But the 18 games the Tigers and Yankees played against each other were some of the most exciting contests of ’61.
The Yankees’ saga is well known but the Tigers’ tale has largely been ignored. This book chronicles the season highlights, such as the home run duel between Roger Maris, who slugged a record 61, and Mickey Mantle, who hit a personal best 54. Other outstanding performances were given by the Tigers’ Norm Cash, who led the league with a .361 average, and Rocky Colavito, who hit 45 home runs.

About the Author(s)

Jim Sargent, a longtime professor of American history, retired as dean of the Social Science Division at Virginia Western Community College in 2010. Before that, he taught on the college and university level for more than 30 years. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Sargent
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 60 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9862-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2311-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jake Wood 1
Preface 3
1: The Tigers, the Yankees, and the Pennant Race of 1961 7
2: Bob Scheffing, Ralph Houk, and the Spring of 1961 21
3: Opening the Expansion Season: Baseball in April 48
4: The Tigers Lead the League in May 73
5: Detroit and New York Win Big in June 100
6: The Pennant Race Seesaws in July 127
7: Fighting for First in August 155
8: The Yankees Win the Pennant 182
9: Home Runs, the World Series, and Heroes 208
Chapter Notes 231
Bibliography 239
Index 241

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “An enjoyable chronicle of one of baseball’s most extraordinary seasons”—Nine
  • “If you are a fan of this era and a fan of the types of books McFarland publishes as well, then this is a book you will not want to miss”—Gregg’s Baseball Bookcase
  • “This book is a winner, and the only thing wrong with it is that it’s not instant replay in print”—Eddie Lake Society.