Re-Watchterpiece Theater is a series that explores the organic way that attitudes about films change after you watch them a second time, a third time, or more, further down the line than the original viewing. This week, I’ll be discussing Billy Crystal’s made-for-HBO baseball film, 61* (2001). For those of you unfamiliar with the film, here’s the film’s synopsis, via Fandango:
Noted baseball fan Billy Crystal directed this made-for-cable drama set in the summer of 1961, as two of the strongest hitters in the major leagues, Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) and Roger Maris (Barry Pepper), find themselves neck and neck in a battle to break Babe Ruth’s long-standing record for most home runs in a season. Both men were playing for the New York Yankees at the time, and as the two men came within grasping distance of Ruth’s record, their loyalty as friends and teammates was put to the ultimate test.