Asterisk: A Symbol (*), used to highlight a particular word or sentence, often to indicate a footnote; A blemish in an otherwise outstanding achievement. This typographical symbol can send chills down a professional athlete's spine as it increasingly appears on stat lines.
In 1961, two Yankee bombers from Murderer's Row battled and raced to break Babe Ruth's home run record. Roger Maris was immediately cast as the villain trying to steal a teammate's thunder. That teammate was fan, and press, favorite, Mickey Mantle. Despite going through abuse, threats and even hair loss, Maris went on to hit sixty one single-season home runs, breaking the unbreakable record set in 1927 by Babe Ruth. This feat was welcomed, not by congratulations and applause, but by disappointment and heartbreak because The Mick was supposed to take the top spot on the all-time homer list.
Immediately following the 1961 season, Baseball Commissioner, Ford Frick, decided since the same number of games had not been played, the record would not stand and thus marked it with an asterisk.
"They acted as though I was doing something wrong, poisoning the record books or something. Do you know what I have to show for sixty-one home runs? Nothing. Exactly nothing." – Roger Maris, 1980.
Keep an eye out later in the year for our 1961 Roger Maris jersey...