The Detroit Tigers gave a memorable performance in the pennant race against the New York Yankees in 1961, the American League's first expansion season. Starting faster, the Tigers held first place for more than half the season, until the Yankees caught up in late July.
They met in a climactic three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx Bombers swept all three, winning the pennant for the eleventh time in 13 seasons. But the 18 games the Tigers and Yankees played against each other were some of the most exciting contests of '61.
The Yankees' saga is well known but the Tigers' tale has largely been ignored. This book chronicles the season highlights, such as the home run duel between Roger Maris, who slugged a record 61, and Mickey Mantle, who hit a personal best 54. Other outstanding performances were given by the Tigers' Norm Cash, who led the league with a .361 average, and Rocky Colavito, who hit 45 home runs.
The Tigers and Yankees In '61
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
A Pennant Race for the Ages, the Babe's Record Broken and Stormin' Norman's Greatest Season