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Asterisk Letter


In 1961, New York Yankees slugger Roger Maris was on track to break Babe Ruth's seemingly untouchable record of 60 home runs in a single season, set in 1927. At the end of July, Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick decreed that if Maris broke Ruth's longstanding record in 162 games (as opposed to Ruth's 154 games), an asterisk would be placed next to Maris' name in the record books. Frick’s edict caused a lot of controversy and remains a point of contention among baseball historians to this day.

This letter, written by Frick thirteen days before Maris broke Ruth's record, is the only known document to address the asterisk.