Cooperstown Chronicles – Roger Maris

Mar 2, 2008

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Roger Maris was suggested by aaJjoe7, a friend of mine from Sporting News.  Here are my findings.

roger-maris.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
1463 Games 
5101 At Bats
.260 Batting Average
826 Runs
1325 Hits
195 Doubles 
42 Triples 
275 Home Runs
851 RBI 
2429 Total Bases 

World Series:  41 games, 33 hits in 152 at bats (.217), 26 runs, 5 doubles, 6 HRs, 18 RBI 

Awards
1960 & 1961 MVP
4 All-Star Games
1 Gold Glove
MVP votes in three seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Slugging % – Three times (Led league in 1961)
OPS – Three times
Games – Twice
At Bats – Once
Runs – Three times (Led league in 1961)
Doubles - Once
Triple – Twice
Home Runs – Four times (actual all-time single-season record in 1961)
RBI – Three times (Led league in ’60 & ’61)
Total Bases – Four times (Led league in ’61)
Extra-base Hits – Four times (Led league in ’60 & ’61)
Walks – Twice
Hit by Pitch – Twice
Intentional Walks – Once

This one is tough.  Yes, he did win back-to-back MVPs.  Yes, he did have a three year stretch where he was one of the very best in the game.  Yes, he did break Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a season (with or without the asterisk).  Looking at the numbers my head says ”no way”.  However, my gut says something different.  My gut says that Roger Maris endured a lot in his pursuit of the home run title.  Let’s be honest, the asterisk he wore like the Scarlet Letter was much less deserved than the ones we want to pin on steroid users such as Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.   The back-to-back MVPs brings him to the doorstep for me.  The three World Series wins (and 7 World Series appearances) is what kicks the door in for me.  My gut says that we owe Roger a big apology in the form of a Hall of Fame pass. 

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren

Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |
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16 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry Novak
    March 2nd, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Maris was my first hero. I was 5, So I really cannot be objective in this one, However you did not bring up how good he was in Right Field, he had a Rocket Arm.
    For the effect on the History of the game along with what you brought up. I would like to see him in. The M amd M boys back together once again.

  2. Ryan Lester
    March 2nd, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    larry – Thanks for adding.

  3. Eric
    June 20th, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    I’m shocked that he’s not in. He went through so much crap when he broke the HR record, he should be in just for that.

  4. LestersLegends
    June 20th, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Eric – no kidding

  5. Brianne
    July 15th, 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    Even if he didn’t break the homerun record, which he did, he still got MVP twice and played in seven All Star Games. That should count for something. He was an excellent player and should be remembered as such. He didn’t use steroids like some players or bet against their own team like other players. So why are we giving him so much grief? I think even the Babe would let him in, even if he said not to acknowledge Maris as having broken the record, he is still a good player and that cannot be disputed.

  6. LestersLegends
    July 16th, 2008 at 7:04 am #

    Brianne – Some good points.

  7. zander
    February 2nd, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    At the age of 4 i was taught that hard work would pay off.At that same age i was introduced to the yankees.I was taught of the tradition of the greatest major leauge team ever built.There he was on this baseball card,kept in a glass case,Roger Maris.I was taught of his magical run to 61 home runs. The back to back mvp’s the batting titles. Over all he was a hard working man from central U.S. who took alot of crap for breaking the home run record set by his majesty the babe.He was a three time world series champion who had a career high 142 rbi’s. You r my hero Roger. thank u for everything.I hope your hard work pays off n u take your rightfull place in the hall of fame

  8. LestersLegends
    February 2nd, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    It’s stories like this zander that make me want to look back that past and write about the greats.

  9. Larry Novak
    February 2nd, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    Zander. My story is very similar to yours. I was 5 in 1961.
    I said erlier I cannot be objective to Maris. There has to be a place in Cooperstown for him and players like Maris.

  10. LestersLegends
    February 2nd, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    agree larry.

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    May 7th, 2009 at 9:00 am #

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    May 20th, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

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    May 20th, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

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  15. Joe D.
    July 18th, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    Roger Maris, his record should still have an asteric.It should read Roger Maris 61*, steriod free single season home run champion.

  16. LestersLegends
    July 18th, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    That’s not a bad thought.

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