Wednesday, May 6
61*: A Great Movie
I'm not much for TV, but since I can't sit at the computer too long these days, I was channel surfing tonight and came across the 2001 movie 61* and I can tell you, it was a delight to watch.
Billy Crystal's (2001) movie 61* tells the story of the 1961 baseball season when both Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) and Roger Maris (Berry Pepper) were in line to break Babe Ruth's record of 60 runs in one season. When the baseball commissioner thinks that one of them might just accomplish that feat, he changes the rules and determines that if the record isn't beaten in so many games that it will have an asternik follow the number.
The public is rooting for Mantle, who starts the season off well. Maris sees to be the underdog throughout the film. He receives hate mail and his wife receives a phone call from someone threatening to kidnap their children.
Then, Maris hears rumors that he may be traded during his first season. He digs in and begins hitting homeruns. Mantle's game begins to slow because of his wild lifestyle.
The media favors outspoken Mantle over the quiet Maris. They hound Maris, a person who dislikes being in the limelight and just wants to play baseball. He seems not to care about beating the record.
61* brought back many memories of baseball during my childhood. Though the focus was on Mantle and Maris, other baseball greats, such as Yogi Berra and Joe Dimaggio were mentioned. Those were the days when baseball greats were our heroes...their names were household words and baseball was the game of America.
If you haven't seen 61*, I highly recommend it. It captures the essence of baseball as a legacy, is entertaining and brings to light what the baseball greats went through as they lived their dream.
Enjoy your day.
at 7:14 PM