The 1961 Major League Baseball season. The New York Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds in five games in the World Series. The season is most well known for Yankee teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle's pursuit of Babe Ruth's prestigious 34-year-old single-season home run record of 60. Maris ultimately broke the record when he hit his 61st home run on the final day of the regular season, while Mantle was forced out of the lineup in late-September due to a hip infection and finished with 54 home runs.
This was the first season that the American League played a 162-game schedule; up until this time AL seasons had consisted of 154 games. The National League, however, continued to play a 154-game schedule for the final time in 1961 before switching to 162 games for the next season.
The American League expanded by two teams in the first MLB expansion since 1901. The original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Twins. The American League therefore placed a new team in Washington, also called the Senators. Also, the American League placed a team in Los Angeles called the Los Angeles Angels.
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