Was a huge fan of Diamond Jim Gentile. True story: Gentile hit 21 homers for the 1960 Orioles. As we were packing up to go home after the 1961 Spring semester at the U of MD (College Park) I told the guy (Lefty) across the hall that Gentile would hit 50 homers that season. Lefty looked at me as if I was crazy, then said that if Gentile did hit 50 or more that he (Lefty) would buy a World Series ticket for me.
Every time Jim hit a homer I sent a postcard to Lefty, with the only message being the current home run number. Alas, Gentile fell short with ?only? 46. When we returned to college in the Fall, Lefty said that he was pretty worried during the last few weeks of the season, and was amazed that my WA prediction came so close to being fulfilled.
Of course, 1961 was the year of the M&M boys, as Maris & Mantle competed for the AL home run title and a chance to break Babe Ruth?s single season homer record (60). As we all know, Maris came out on top and broke the record with 61. Mantle finished with 52. They ended up making Gentile an afterthought.