"If I don't wanna talk about things, and I don't know what they wanna hear, and I just wanna play ball...does that make me the bad guy?" - Roger Maris

release year: 2001
genre: sports drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 2/5/17 and 5/17/14 and home DVD, 10/22/06 and cable TV 5/1/01

synopsis: This is a movie version of the 1961 baseball season, when Yankee teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris chased Babe Ruth's record for home runs in a season - a record which a lot of people didn't want to see broken.

impressions: I loved it. This is baseball storytelling at its best: the highs and lows, the media pressure, the big games and big hits, the personal side of the players, the side that no one ever sees. They drink, and curse, and party...and it's nice to see it acknowledged. This movie made me aware of just how tough it can be to chase a record - especially when most people don't want to see it broken. A lot of people put a lot of unfair pressure on Roger Maris that year, and it's good to see the story told.

acting: Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle and Barry Pepper as Roger Maris both did standout jobs. This movie really revolves around them, though other cast members (their teammates, the Maris family) are also well-represented here. Anthony-Michael Hall is Whitey Ford, while Donald Moffat is Ford Frick (the commissioner who was friends with Ruth and thus roots against Maris even though his job should make him impartial.)

fun link: official movie site

final word: This is a must-see for any baseball fan, it's that simple.

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