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"The M&M Boys" was the nickname given to the New York Yankees' early-1960s slugging tandem of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. The nickname gained provenance during the 1961 season, when Maris and Mantle, batting 3-4 in the Yankee lineup, both challenged Babe Ruth's 34-year old single-season record of 60 home runs. The home run lead would change hands between the two teammates numerous times throughout the summer and fueled intense scrutiny of the players by the press. Maris eventually broke the record when he hit his 61st home run on the final day of the season, while Mantle belted 54 before he was forced from the lineup in September with an abscessed hip.

Maris' record would stand for 37-years until it was broken by Mark McGwire in 1998. The duo, however, retains the single-season record for combined home runs by a pair of teammates (115).

The name is typically applied in baseball at amateur and professional levels to two successive hitters with last names beginning with M in a line-up that hit for average and power while compliment one another. Most prominently, it has more recently been applied by broadcasters, analysts, and the media to the 3-4 hitting tandem of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins.[1] The batting prowess of Mauer that has currently earned him three batting championships and the power of Morneau that has earned him annual appearances at the top of MVP ballots (And first-place in the voting in 2006) have warranted comparisons to the old Yankees tandem. However, Morneau has expressed some minor disdain for the term, feeling it's being applied too soon.[2]

References

  1. ^ Joe Mauer continues to display why Minnesota needs him long term
  2. ^ MPR: The Bleacher Bums: The reluctant "M"
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