A two-time MVP, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth‘s single-season homerun record by smashing 61 dingers in 1961. Many believe Maris should be in the Hall of Fame.
The ’61 seasons was magical for Maris. He led the league in runs, homers, and runs batted in. The baseball writers voted him the Most Valuable Player of the American League for the second consecutive season.
Maris’ record-breaking season came with controversy. Ruth set the record of 60 homers when teams played 154 games per season. By 1961, the schedule was expanded to include 8 additional games. Maris hit his 61st homer on the last game of the season. Some questioned the legitimacy of the record.
Today Maris still hold the American League record for homers in a season but not the MLB mark. In the steroid era, both Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds obliterated his total. In 1998 McGwire hit 70 homers. Three seasons later, Bonds hit 73.
Maris played in four consecutive All Star games starting in 1959. A three-time World Champion, Maris appeared in seven Fall Classics, five with the Yankees and two with the Cardinals.
After his retirement in 1968, Maris owned a Budweiser beer distributorship in Florida. Gussie Busch who owned the Cardinals when Maris played in St. Louis, got Maris started in the beer business.
Maris passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 51 in 1985.
In the collection is a 1960 Topps baseball card autographed by Maris. That season was a breakout year for the slugger. He set a career high in homers, led the league in RBI, won a Gold Glove, and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Whether Roger Maris makes the Hall of Fame or not, he remains a respected and beloved baseball figure.
Baseball was pure back then….clean…..exciting….fun….and affordable…..
should have been in Cooperstown a long time ago,,,,,,politics!
McGuire and Sosa brought fans back to the game and should be recognized for that. But not for the home run record because everyone knows they cheated. Maris got an astrix* on his 61* home runs. But the astrix should have been on Ruth’s home runs because he only played against white players. Where is the astrix* for that? Maris paid dearly for those home runs in 1961. Do some research on it. Watch the movie 61* directed by Billy Crystal if all else fails.
He deserves to be in the HOF
I think the *asterisk has now been removed from Maris’ 61 HR. Not sure.