I can tell you what year Ted Williams hit .406 and what Denny McLain’s pitching record was in 1968, but otherwise, my mental bank of baseball facts let me down in my recent “Park Your Age” column.

(Answers: 1941 and 31-6.)
In my Editor’s Notebook, I mentioned all kinds of (ir-)relevant 61 facts,  as I bemoaned the fact that space 61 in our parking lot is inaccessible; where will I Park My Age?
The 61-facts I cited range from a 61-year-old woman giving birth to her own grandchild to a 61-bedroom house.
In the Editor’s Notebook I got into Bob Dylan’s great “Highway 61 Revisited.”
So inevitably something would get left out, right? Right.
“I was disappointed in your column,” my friend Gary Young told me.
Now that stung, since Gary and I are both baseball fans and love to swap diamond stories like old veterans hurling change-ups and sliders off a backyard pitching mound.
But no sooner than Gary said this, a friendly smile spreading across his face, it bent me back me like Bob Gibson chin music. I said to him: “Roger Maris. I forgot Roger Maris!”
How did I forget 61*?
The asterisk!
How could I have whiffed so badly? Thrown myself a curve?
Many of you, with even minimal baseball knowledge, know the significance of 61*.
The St. Louis Cardinal slugger Roger Maris hit sixty-plus-one homeruns, in 1961, to break the single-season four-bagger record set by a guy named Babe Ruth in 1927. A great feat, but since Ruth hit 60, the major league season got extended from 154 to 1962 games, which caused many folks to belittle Maris’ feat. Maris experienced widespread anger and resentment and, until 1998, his name was associated with the most burdensome punctuation in history.
That 61* hung on poor Roger like a medieval stock.
The homerun record defined and bedeviled Maris, that season and well beyond, really until 1998, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, steroids and all, made the Maris asterisk irrelevant (with 70 and 66, respectively).
And now I must own up to forgetting, in my celebration of the number, one of history’s most famous manifestations of 61. I won’t live it down until I’m 62.
But Gary was not all recrimination. Given my “where to PYA?” dilemma, he and another friend came up with cool solutions, given the unavailability of space 61.
(I had considered parking in 16, just flip-flopping digits, but that doesn’t feel quite right.)
My friend MacRae Wylde said, “At first, I thought of coming with some paint and putting a ‘6’ in front of space 1, but I realized that you like to do this so you leave the close spaces for customers.” That is critical to PYA: A means of parking away from the building. And space 1 is too near it. But thanks for the thought, MacRae.
Gary’s suggestion I probably will use, and it involves another form of alteration.
The idea is perfect.
This week, I will get out the chalk and go to space 60. I will ad an asterisk to the number, and say a prayer of thanks to Roger Maris. It’s my “61” parking home now, and his asterisk has a new 61 to call home.

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