Roger Maris

Blake Loomis

Roger's Childhood

Roger Maris was born on September 10, 1934, in Hibbing, North Dakota. He had a brother named Rudy. His father, Rudolph Maris, was a worker for the Great Northern Railroad. Even though Maris was known for his amazing baseball ability, he didn't only play that one sport. In his high school days at Shanley High, he set the school record kick returns in one game with four. It was also good for a national record.

When he was in the 10th grade, he met the woman he would eventually marry at a high school basketball game. Roger also was recruited by Bud Wilkinson to play football at the University of Oklahoma. Baseball has always been right up his alley, though. He had led his legion baseball team to the state championship.

Build-Up to a Superstar

Roger Maris is mainly known for his 61st home run in the season of 1961, breaking the record for home runs in a season. However, there is more to his life than that. He has been through some memorable times.

Roger Maris didn't just play for the Yankees. He had played for the Cleveland Indians, Athletics (when they played in Kansas City), and the St. Louis Cardinals. He also played for different minor league teams and college teams. He played for Fargo-Moorehead, Keokuk, Tulsa, Reading, and Indianapolis.

As you can see, Roger Maris pretty much owned the 60s. Altogether in the 1960s, he had been in seven world series! In 1961, Maris was named MVP. That should be pretty obvious that he would be named MVP because of that record he broke.

Also, in his first year in the Majors, he recorded 14 home runs and 51 RBI's (runs batted in). When he was with the Athletics he recorded 28 home runs and 81 RBI's. Gradually, his statistics became better. That year that he broke the record, the game was against the Red Sox. The score of the game was 1-0 and the only run was from Maris' homer!

S'more Info

  • Some events that portrayed in the life of Maris. One time at a baseball game, a fan threw a chair at him.
  • Finished his career with 225 home runs.
  • Mark McGwire broke Roger's record in 1998.
  • There is a movie starring Billy Crystal commemorating Maris.

Important Details

  • Born in Hibbing, Minnesota
  • Batted Lefty
  • Wore #9
  • There is a Roger Maris museum in Fargo, ND
  • Died of lymphoma cancer December 14, 1985 at age 51

Why the Award?

Roger Maris won the Rough Rider Award because he was raised in North Dakota and was a standout in every sport he competed in. He had made it to the Majors to play for a handful of teams. One day vs the Red Sox, Maris spanked his 61st home run in 1961, to break the record for home runs in a single season. It is almost fitting that he would get the ever-so-prestigious Rough Rider Award.
Roger Maris, baseball's greatest unsung hero
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