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20.  Roger Maris
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: September 10, 1934 in Hibbing, MN USA
  • Weight: 197 lbs.
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Bats: L
  • Throws: R
  • Debut: April 16, 1957
  • Final Game: September 29, 1968
  • Gold Glove - 1960
  • Most Valuable Player - 1960
  • TSN All-Star - 1960
  • TSN Player of the Year - 1960
  • Most Valuable Player - 1961
  • TSN All-Star - 1961
  • TSN Major League Player of the Year - 1961
  • TSN Player of the Year - 1961
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This one is a little tough.  We recognize (and we are sure most people agree) that the overall career numbers of Roger Maris does not equate to a Hall of Fame Baseball player.  However, many very good players have been excluded from Cooperstown because they lacked moments of greatness.  Nobody could ever doubt that Roger Maris had a year that was part of baseball immortality.

Roger Maris was not a one season wonder as it is often forgotten that he won the 1960 AL MVP before his legendary season and helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 1967.  However, it would be on the strength of that 1961 season where he shocked the entire sporting world with his assault on Babe Ruth’s Home Run record.  Think of the adversity in which he accomplished it.  He broke the record in an era of no PEDs, he broke it with sportswriters constantly writing about how they didn’t want him to and he did so when his own fans cheered against him and wanted the more popular Mickey Mantle to be the one to chase down the Bambino.  Granted, the media attention was not the same as it is in this era of ESPN and the internet but the pressure on the Midwest farm kid had to be unbearable.  Maris would break one of the most coveted records in sports despite a nation cheering against him, and though he did not have the most statistically perfect season, it may have been the hardest one ever accrued.

Roger Maris basically had two great seasons, a couple of good ones and a remaining career that was basically average.  He may not have had the career numbers the Hall covets, but what he did in 1961 was Hall of Fame worthy.  This could very well remain the biggest Hall of Fame debate this side of Rose and Shoeless Joe.

Should Roger Maris be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 85.4%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 6.1%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 4.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 3.6%

The Bullet Points

  • Country of Origin: Hibbing, Minnesota, U.S.A.
  • Eligible In: Tuesday, 01 January 1974
  • Position: Outfield
  • Played For: New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians
  • Major Accolades and Awards: Most Valuable Player (2) (AL) (1960 & 1961)
    3 Time All Star (1959, 1960 & 1961)
    Gold Glove (1) (AL) (1960)
    Highest Slugging Percentage (1) (AL) (1960)
    Most Runs Scored (1) (AL) (1961)
    Most Total Bases (1) (AL) (1961)
    Most Home Runs (1) (AL) (1961)
    Most Runs Batted In (2) (AL) 1960 & 1961)
    Highest WAR for Position Players (1) (AL) (1960)
    World Series Rings (3) (New York Yankees 1961 & 1962, St. Louis Cardinals, 1967)
  • Other Points of Note: Other Top Ten MVP Finishes: (Won the 1960 & 1961 AL MVP)
    The Sporting News Player of the Year (1961)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (OPS)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (OPS+)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Scored)
    4 Top Ten Finishes (Total Bases)
    1 Top Ten Finish (Doubles)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (Triples)
    4 Top Ten Finishes (Home Runs)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Batted In)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (Walks)
    1 Top Ten Finish (Power-Speed)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (Win Probability Added)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players)
  • Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: 1974: 21.4
    1975: 19.3
    1976: 22.4
    1977: 21.4
    1978: 21.9
    1979: 29.4
    1980: 28.8
    1981: 23.4
    1982: 16.6
    1983: 18.4
    1984: 26.6
    1985: 32.4
    1986: 41.6
    1987: 42.6
    1988: 43.1
  • Should be Inducted As A: New York Yankee

Should Roger Maris be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 85.4%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 6.1%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 4.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 3.6%
Tagged under


+1 #7 Darryl Tahirali 2017-08-29 01:52
From the article:
He may not have had the career numbers the Hall covets, but what he did in 1961 was Hall of Fame worthy.
Was what Roger Maris did in 1961 really "Hall of Fame worthy"? He hit one more home run that did Babe Ruth in 1927, and three more home runs than did Jimmie Foxx in 1932 and Hank Greenberg in 1938.

Excepting his home run total, Maris's 1961 season was not extraordinar y--and it wasn't even the best offensive season overall in the AL.

A 698 590 159 16 61 132 141 94 167 6.9 .269/.372/.620/.993
B 646 514 163 16 54 131 128 126 206 10.5 .317/.448/.687/1.135
C 601 486 147 25 46 96 141 96 187 6.9 .302/.423/.646/1.069
D 673 535 193 22 41 119 132 124 201 9.2 .361/.487/.662/1.148

A = Maris. B = Mickey Mantle. C = Jim Gentile. D = Norm Cash.

Maris led the AL in HR, total bases, runs scored (hitting in front of Mantle), and tied with Gentile in RBI. Cash led the AL in hits, BA, and OBP. Mantle led the AL in SLG, OPS+, and bWAR.

Okay--the guy who hit the most home runs and collected the most total bases still finished 67 points behind the leader in slugging percentage; he even finished behind Cash and Gentile.

Maris just barely finished ahead of Mantle in MVP voting in 1961, by one first-place vote, and I have little doubt that it was the bias toward golden boy Mantle, whom even Yankees fans wanted to be the one to break Ruth's record if it had to happen.

But apart from the historical impact, Maris's season was outstanding, but it was not world-beatin g by any measure--and hardly "Hall of Fame worthy." Maris would have to have won the Triple Crown to even get within shouting distance--an d he hit 92 points behind Cash.

Roger Maris's 1961 season was undeniably historic and deserves to be enshrined at Cooperstown as a milestone. But the idea that Maris himself deserves to be enshrined for it is ridiculous. He wasn't even the hands-down best hitter in the AL that year, as detailed above, and only a teary-eyed Bob Costas sock-puppet would think that.

If anyone's single-seaso n performance is "Hall of Fame worthy" enough to get them into the Hall (again, a ridiculous notion), I'd pick Albert Belle's 1995 season. Belle is still the only hitter in MLB history to hit 50 doubles and 50 HR in the same season--and in terms of games, that was in a strike-short ened season of 143 games. Belle led the AL in six categories to Maris's four, and Belle finished second in MVP voting--and got rooked by Mo Vaughn's excellent but hardly historic season.
+1 #6 Highpointer 2015-05-29 20:50
Quoting T ZAHEL:
Roger is the only 2 time MVP not in the Hall of Fame, go figure.
Dale Murphy won two straight MVP awards for the Atlanta Braves in 1982 and 1983, and he is not in the Hall of Fame.
+1 #5 T ZAHEL 2015-01-06 15:12
Roger is the only 2 time M V P not in the hall of fame,go figure.
+2 #4 Caolan 2014-12-05 13:17
Maris may not have had career numbers for the Hall, but he is one of the most famous names in the game and when you go to Cooperstown, he is just one of those guys that you expect to see there. Some might even say that his record still stands since Bonds, Sosa and Mac were using PEDS. Some might even argue that Ruth still holds the record since he did it in fewer games. Its kind of strange actually that only 5 players have ever hit 60 or more homers. Even more fascinating is that no one hit 50 or more from 1978 to 1990. I remember when Cecil Fielder did it and it was a HUGE deal. I'd like to see Roger's name hanging in the Hall one day. Judging by the price of his rookie card, he might as well be.
+8 #3 mickey mantle 2014-08-06 19:15
Roger Maris is a 2 time MVP, a 3 time world series champion and a gold glove right fielder. He also is the only person to break Ruth's single season home run record without PEDs. People argue about his numbers, but he has accomplished much more than many people in the hall of fame did in their career. It is an embarrassmen t to the MLB to exclude him from the hall of fame.
0 #2 Ziggy Koole -0001-11-30 00:00
DDT, congratulati ons on the longest comment I've seen.As for your actual point, to be honest I was swung over by what Maris accomplished in that magical 1961 campaign (which ended in a world championship , so there you go.) But you definately make an excellent point about Maris. I'm on the fence about him, leaning towards yes, but definately one the fence.
-5 #1 Darryl Tahirali -0001-11-30 00:00
How much difference do three home runs in a season make? And how much of a fetish do we make of a home run?The write-up about Roger Maris on this page is the kind of overheated gushing that can be pretty easily defused. Maris is not a Hall of Famer. His one famous season is not an off-the-char ts great one. In fact, notwithstand ing the aberration of his breaking Ruth's single-seaso n home run record by one home run

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