“I felt that I was a good all-around ballplayer. I had good speed, a good arm and could play the outfield.”
On October 1, 1961, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single season home run record. Maris belted his 61st home run on the season’s final day.
Maris was a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, a four- time All-Star and he also won a Gold Glove for fielding excellence.
In 1960, his first year with the Yankees, Maris had a great season. He hit 39 home runs and won the first of his back to back Most Valuable Player Awards.. In 1961, Maris got off to a slow start hitting only three home runs in his first 28 games. His bat came alive and he belted 24 home runs in his next 38 games and finished the season with 61.
There are many people who feel Roger still has the “legitimate” record since his mark was broken during the steroid era.
We should note that Roger says nothing about hitting home runs in this quote. It was a joy to watch Roger Maris play baseball because he was a fine player who is remembered for an extraordinary accomplishment.
Maris deserves all the credit in the world for breaking Babe Ruth’s record. There was enormous pressure on him because Babe Ruth was such a revered figure.
Roger Maris was a team player who laid down a bunt to help win a game during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s record. Maris was fortunate to have Mickey Mantle batting behind him. This enabled Roger to get a lot of good pitches to hit.
Maris also should be remembered as a man who helped the Yankees win five pennants (1960-64). He also contributed to the Cardinals in their pennant winning seasons of 1967 and 1968.
I have spoken to several of Maris’ teammates both with the Indianapolis Indians and the New York Yankees. Everyone with whom I spoke had great things to say about Roger as a person.
Roger Maris played the game hard and he was a winner.