Mantle, Maris Didn't Have As Good A '61 As We ThoughtS

SABR research already took away one of Roger Maris's RBIs from 1961, and now the archives discover another mistake that changes the league leader. Baseball nerds only beyond this point.

No, Maris's 61 home runs still stand. If that was the case, we probably would have put it in the headline. What does change is Mickey Mantle's run total.

He's always been credited with 132 runs that year, but a researcher — possibly in the process of looking over every box score ever, in the hopes of finding something like this — found a run that wasn't. In a game on September 10th, Mantle was credited with two runs scored, when he really only scored one.

He quintuple-checked his findings against the scorecards of the Yankees, three New York sportswriters, and the associated press box score. So bump Mantle down to 131, making Roger Maris the sole leader with 132.

Perhaps it's some consolation to Maris's stats, seeing as how he had a 1961 RBI taken away 15 years ago, forcing him to share the league lead with Jim Gentile.

I wonder if they had performance bonuses back in those days. Because if so, we might have to dig up their coffins and remove some of that expensive lacquer finish.


Changes to Maris and Mantle's Batting Totals
[Baseball-Reference]