Giancarlo Stanton says he's aiming for 61 home runs and that he finds baseball's statistical history both alluring and tainted.
Stanton had a six-game home run streak end on Wednesday. He has 44 home runs on the season and remains on pace for 61.
"When you grow up watching all the old films of Babe Ruth and [Mickey] Mantle and those guys, 61 has always been that printed number," he said.
Ruth hit a record 60 homers in 1927, and Stanton said he gives that achievement an asterisk because the sport wasn't integrated then. Mantle's teammate Roger Maris broke the record with 61 in 1961.
Barry Bonds set the current record of 73 in 2001 during the steroids era, and Stanton said he also considers that total tainted.
"I do, but at the same time. it doesn't matter," he said. "The record is the record."