After Babe Ruth erased Buck Freeman's record in 1919, the new mark stood for 34 years before Maris bettered it, defying as he did an incredulous sporting public. And just as fans' anger grew old and Maris was grudgingly credited - or discredited - with an unrepeatable hot streak, along came Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, two goliaths who in 1998 and the years just after proved fans wrong again. But when in 2001, only three years after McGwire seemed to put the record beyond reach, Barry Bonds topped him by three. This time fans were staunch in their disbelief, and while many celebrated Bonds' achievement, others questioned its significance.
This revised edition of Bill McNeil's Ruth, Maris, McGwire, and Sosa ("libraries especially will want this" - Library Journal) reviews the careers of each home run titan, with special attention to the record-breaking seasons. The cultural and social changes that may have affected both the players' season totals and fan reception are also considered.