Does Maris belong in the Hall of Fame?

One thing is for sure: The Mark McGwire steroid admission has ignited a decades-old debate in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Does Roger Maris – of Fargo – belong in Baseball’s Hall of Fame?

Many arguments can be made for it. For starters, Maris is the single-season home run king in Major League Baseball among players whose careers weren’t swallowed up by the "Steroid Era." Secondly, he won back-to-back MVP awards. And finally, he helped three teams (1961 and ’62 Yankees and the 1967 Cardinals) to World Series titles.

The hardware is there for Maris. No doubt about that.

One columnist in St. Louis says more noise should be made for Maris rather than people uniting against McGwire. That’s also a worthwhile argument.

Personally, I don’t think Maris belongs, at least not moreso than some other players who have been left out. Like Dale Murphy, he’s got back-to-back MVPs, but I’m not sure if his best lasted long enough to fit the typical profile of a Hall of Famer.

We could all argue until we’re blue in the face about whether or not Maris belongs. The numbers can basically be twisted to make the argument either way. Same for Murphy. Same for Tim Raines, Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris.

What’s important is that Maris is remembered. So what if he doesn’t get in the Hall of Fame?

McGwire’s admission has unquestionably led to more people admiring what Maris did during his career. McGwire talked about how tough it was to stay on the field. You think? Why are Lou Gehrig‘s and Cal Ripken‘s consecutive games streaks such a big deal? It’s tough to play 162 games, let alone be successful.

Yet in one magical year in 1961, Maris hit more homers than any player that came before him. And that number "61" is probably more than any player that came after him who didn’t have a little bit of help. We may never know for sure on that last part.

But the fact that people are talking about him again and recognizing his accomplishment, that should be the most important thing.

9 thoughts on “Does Maris belong in the Hall of Fame?

  1. Sorry sir , but I have confront you on your generalization that ‘numbers can be twisted either ways when it comes to consider candidates ‘, then you included Blyleven in that ‘borderline list’. No , emphatically no, Blyleven’s #’s can’t be twisted , they are equal or superior to most of the present members of the Hall of Fame. I counted recently and Blyleven had more wins than 37 of the present occupiers of the Hall . Did you know that , 37! Plus he still is in the top ten ALLTIME in strikeouts , shutouts. Do me a favor ,kid, if you truly want to comment on topics like the Hall of Fame , familarize yourself with the history of the Hall and ALL it’s inductees . Then tell me and your readers if Blyleven does or does not belongs with men who are his peers. That’s why Bert is not in now , because some pompous voters beleive the Hall is about them and not about Bert. As to Maris . Now of course Maris does not have even Blyleven’s carrer qualifications. And you are right his career is more comparable to Murphy’s for instance. But and this is a big BUT , It is the Hall Of FAME we are talking about . As I said ,study the history of the Hall. It is filled with umpires who were voted in, for heavens sakes. Did you know that , and many executives who never swung a bat! Why? because they obviously were famous for their acheivements. To pick on Dale Murphy again , he did indeed win back to back MVPs like Maris , yaddda yadda , but did he break and hold the single most important baseball EVER like Maris did ? Is Murphy FAMOUS as Maris . Did Murphy have a year like 1961 which other than Jackie Robinson’s rookie year , may have been the most pressure filled year any baseball player has ever endured??? No but MARIS did , and he prevailed in that year. He is one of the most famous players who ever lived now . He belongs in the Hall of FAME.

  2. Hi Hayden,
    Good article. With McGwire’s recent admission he could help right a great wrong to Roger Maris and his family by helping restore Roger Maris record 61 in 1961. Roger Maris is the first and last player to hit 61 HRs in a single season without the aide of performance enhancing drugs.
    I think the first step should be for Major League Baseball to address and acknowledge Roger as the legitimate record holder not only for the integrity of baseball, but to also honor the current players that aren’t using PEDs and their chance to set a new legitimate single season home run record that Roger Maris has held for now over 48 years.
    Our facebook group to restore Roger’s record is growing fast, now over 4,500 strong in just over a week, you can join the effort and invite others here:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=284644356257&ref=mf

  3. Roger’s bat and Roger’s ball that he hit into the right field porch on October 1st, 1961 of Tracy Staller are in the all of fame. Roger should be too.

  4. Just because Maris is “famous” in Fargo doesnt mean he is one of the most famous players who ever lived. That statement is hilarious! Go any where outside of this little bubble that we live in and nobody knows or even cares about Maris. The Blyleven arguement I can agree with. Those are rational thoughts but Maris? No way. Not even close to being worthy of that honor. Why is it that people from Fargo will fight to the death for any minor celeb no matter how obscure they are? Like that girl who won the reality dating show? Fargo needs to get over Maris and go visit his hall of fame. In the mall where it belongs!

  5. Hang on a minute!! There is a facebook group to restore the record?? Why are we even having such discussion? He is a shoe in for getting the record back and the hall of fame now. Behold the power of 4,500 people in a facebook group!! haha

  6. Maris is definitely famous outside of this area. Take New York City, the #1 city in the world. Just a few years ago Billy Crystal made a movie about Maris.

    I agree with people who say that Maris didn’t put up Hall of Fame numbers for his career, and also that he was one of the best players for only a short time because of injuries. But, I honestly believe he should be voted in by the Veteran’s Committee. What Maris did in 1961 was unbelievable when you consider the pressure he was under. Also, many people forget about 1960 (an MVP year), and also his career with the Cardinals. He did more in his career than just hit 61 HR in a season.

  7. Great to see all of the comments today.

    Truth harvestor, my point was merely that numbers can be found to prove or disprove that most Hall of Famers and most near-Hall of Famers belong or don’t belong. Anyone who reads this blog regularly in the last month knows I believe Blyleven is a Hall of Famer.
    Check out this link, for example:
    http://www.areavoices.com/goethe/?blog=67734

    And I absolutely think among baseball fans that the last few weeks have brought Maris and his family back into the spotlight again. And that’s a good thing. I think when you consider McGwire’s admission and the evidence against Bonds and Sosa, many will recognize Maris’ achievements as the best power display put on a single season legitimately.

    I just don’t care much about what the record books say, as long as baseball fans know what happened. I’ve never seen this record book anyway. Does it exist? Intelligent fans know the story of the Black Sox and what Pete Rose did. I don’t think the Steroid Era will be viewed any differently.

    • Just because Maris is faomus in Fargo doesnt mean he is one of the most faomus players who ever lived. That statement is hilarious! Go any where outside of this little bubble that we live in and nobody knows or even cares about Maris. The Blyleven arguement I can agree with. Those are rational thoughts but Maris? No way. Not even close to being worthy of that honor. Why is it that people from Fargo will fight to the death for any minor celeb no matter how obscure they are? Like that girl who won the reality dating show? Fargo needs to get over Maris and go visit his hall of fame. In the mall where it belongs!

  8. Dude , get your head out of fog. Maris is not only famous , he is now revered . I collect sports memoribilia and on every NATIONAL sports auction and event the Maris stuff is always the higher echelon stuff , with Mantle, Dimaggio ,Ted, Roberto etc. Hey Dude -name a more notable sports record than the homer record for a season -C’mon Dude! And it is the one Maris held for 37 years and is still strongly associated with thereafter. You are a fool to say ‘no one outside of Fargo knows or cares about him’. Your head up your butt is no way to expand your vision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>