NY Times Writer Raises Maris Hall Question

Fargo isn’t the only place full of people that think Roger Maris should be a Hall of Famer.

The former Fargo Shanley standout that broke Babe Ruth‘s single-season home run record in 1961 was recently the subject of a column by the New York Times’ George Vescey.

Vescey – whose blog post on the subject is available here – wondered whether or not Maris should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He ultimately concluded that he didn’t think so.

But many of his readers did, and they let their opinions be known to him.

It’s definitely a two-sided topic, and both sides can be quite vocal.

As for me? I really don’t know. I’ll put it this way: In my book, he’s not a Hall of Famer. However, do I think he could get elected? Yeah, actually. I do.

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that the Veterans Committee elected someone that surprised me. Guys like Joe Gordon and Bill Mazeroski certainly had their share of detractors, and those are just some of the recent inductees courtesy of the Veterans Committee.

So if you twisted my arm, I’d say that I do think Maris one day will get elected. His 61 homers in a single season, his back-to-back MVP awards and his seven World Series appearances in the 1960s will be enough as far as the Veterans Committee is concerned. I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to make a decision like that.

4 Responses

  1. Maris should be in the hall of fame. He broke a record that people actually care about, and it took 30 years just for Major League Baseball to recognize his effort. His call to the hall has been decades overdue.

  2. John

    Roger Maris is a two time MVP winner, a golden glove winner, 7 time all star, held the home run record for almost 40 yrs, and did all of this without steroids. I am sure there are many in the hall of fame that could not measure up to Maris as a player or a man.

  3. david

    I have to say that it seems odd for a Fargo Forum writer to question the fitness of Roger Maris for the Hall of fame. To each their own. However, his credentials certainly seem to fit. You mentioned yourself that he was not a one-season wonder. He had been the league MVP in 1960 as well as 1961. You also mentioned that he was in numerous World Series. Other players (several already in the HOF) on both the Yankees and Cardinals thought that he was one of the best players on those teams. Henry Aaron thought that he was one of the top 2-3 right fielders in the history of the game. His record of 61 home runs was accomplished against many barriers, not the least of which was the fact that there were many people openly hoping that Mantle would succeed while he would fail. The mental strain of having to deal with the NY media, who never tired of asking silly questions like “do you think you can hit 100 home runs next year?” was huge. The record has only increased in value as the years have gone by. It has only been broken by players who were, apparently, aided by steroids. If one discounts those records, it means that Maris has held the record 16 years longer than Babe Ruth held it. 61 home runs was not just “a record”. It is one of the ultimate records in sports. Personally, I think that hitting 61 home runs, without the aid of steroids, is sufficient evidence by itself.

    There is one more thing to consider. This is the Hall of FAME. You compared Roger Maris to Joe Gordon and Bill Mazeroski. How would one describe the fame of these three ball players? If you went to some mid size American city (say Peoria) and randomly asked people “Do you know who Joe Gordon was?”. I doubt that many people would even correctly identify him as a baseball player. If you asked “Do you know who Bill Mazeroski was?” a few people would recognize that he was one of the best fielding second basemen of all time and a few more would know that he hit a walk-off home run in the 7th game of a World Series. If you asked “Do you know who Roger Maris was?” I think that you would get a very high percentage who know that he broke the home run record. His level of fame, which was built purely on baseball achievements, far outstrips either of those players, as well as many others who have been placed in HOF during the last 50 years.

    He belongs in HOF.

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