Look up the records and you'll see that it's a rare year when anybody hits 50 homers, let alone 60." Yankee home runs began to come at a record pace.
One famous photograph lined up six 1961 Yankees, including Mantle, Maris, Yogi Berra, and Bill Skowron, under the nickname "Murderers Row", because they hit a combined 165 home runs the previous season (The title "Murderers Row", originally coined in 1918, had most famously been used to refer to the 1927 Yankees).
Maris set the MLB record for home runs during the 1961 season with 61 of them, breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record of 60 home runs in 1927.
This record was challenged by then-baseball commissioner Ford Frick (who had been a friend of Babe Ruth), who said that Maris needed to break the record in 154 games instead of the current schedule of 162 games.
In a seven-player deal in December 1959, he was sent to the Yankees with Kent Hadley and Joe De Maestri in exchange for Marv Throneberry, Norm Siebern, Hank Bauer, and Don Larsen.
He tied for the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League lead in putouts by an outfielder with 305 while playing for the Keokuk Kernels in 1954.Maris made his major league debut on April 16, 1957 with the Cleveland Indians.Two days later, he hit the first home run of his career, a grand slam off Tigers pitcher Jack Crimian at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. In 1958, after playing in 51 games and hitting 9 home runs, he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics.He won the American League's Most Valuable Player award and was recognized as an outstanding defensive outfielder with a Gold Glove Award.He was named to the American League All-Star roster (played in two games) and finished the 1960 season with a .283 batting average.