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15.  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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5101826132527585121 0.260
 

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%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 5%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 3.7%

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)
    Major League Player of the Year (1) (1961)
    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)
    None
    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%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 5%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 3.7%
Tagged under

Comments   

0 #12 Jacob Landis 2020-01-07 23:13
For all that read these comments here is the definition of fame:

fame

/fām/

noun

the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements .

These people that are fighting so hard to keep Maris from the hall remind me of many that routed against him the year he hit 61. He received many death threats that year. People just really hate him, and no, I would not put him in on just that season....mu ch like Namath shouldn't be in the NFL HOF, but it's that season combined with back to back MVP's, the W S. titles, and the legend he has become over friendly, and not so friendly debates like this that I would have him enshrined. There is no reason to get upset though, for he isn't in, and likely will never be due to the reasons you mentioned. I just believe in this case, THIS CASE, Roger Maris transcends the normal precedents that are linked with being voted in.
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0 #11 Darryl Tahirali 2020-01-07 21:20
Quoting Jacob Landis:
You do know what fame means, right?

Yes. Name recognition is not fame. It is celebrity. Genuine fame as recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame comes from sustained and lasting accomplishme nt, not from isolated or temporary achievements like Roger Maris's.

However, you and your wife have confused name recognition with fame. You have assumed that media hype and Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame are the same as genuine, lasting fame. And you are also perpetuating the fetish of the home run.

Maris's only claim to fame is that in 1961 he broke Babe Ruth's single-seaso n home run record. By the way, that record is a statistic. So, yes, the Hall of Fame, at least for players, is very much a Hall of Stats. And your endorsement of Maris hinges on that fact--his fame derives ONLY from establishing a historic statistic.

Maris was a Yankee challenging a Yankee legend, Ruth, while eclipsing Yankee golden boy Mickey Mantle on the media center stage of New York City.

In other words, it was all hype. Roger Maris was a journeyman ballplayer with two excellent seasons (his 1960 season was the other), one of which was historic.

Guess what? So was Maury Wills's 1962 season, when he broke Ty Cobb's single-seaso n stolen base record. Stolen bases aren't as sexy as home runs, but Wills too was named an MVP for that historic season.

Should Wills be in the Hall too? No. Nor should Maris.

The Baseball Hall of Fame isn't for those who were great for one season, no matter how historic. It has to last for an entire career. Otherwise, the Hall becomes cheapened. Players who were great for their entire careers are cheapened by f[censored]- in-the-pan who were great for just a fraction of their careers, no matter how much name recognition they have.

Surely your "love of baseball" and "decent IQ" can see that? Or are you still confusing name recognition with fame?
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0 #10 Jacob Landis 2020-01-06 22:09
Yes, I should amend, he is as famous as most names in the hall of fame. And thank you for making my point, yes my wife knows roger maris' name, as the FAME of tha name stands the test of time. Yes, I do know the difference between exec's and non. You probably would be shocked I have a decent IQ. I love baseball as much as any, and my point was made for me. You do know what fame means, right?
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-1 #9 Darryl Tahirali 2020-01-06 18:43
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He is almost as famous of name for MLB that there is.

"Almost as famous"? Then it's appropriate that he is "almost" in the Hall of Fame, isn't it?

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Many exec's and owners are in....uh, most don't have any statistics at all...no MVP's, but they did much for the game, or certainly they are well known.
How many execs and owners can your wife name? And you do understand the difference between players and non-players, don't you?

Quote:
My wife doesn't follow baseball closely. I asked her some names to see who she knew. She never heard of Craig Biggio or Pee Wee Reese, no Ted Simmons......but guess one of the names she did recognize? A FAME...ous one. Roger Maris
So you're saying that it should be called the Hall of Q Scores? Guess what? It's not called the Hall of Name Recognition. Particularly for people who don't "follow baseball closely."
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+1 #8 Jacob Landis 2020-01-03 01:06
It's called the "hall of fame", not the hall of stats. He is almost as famous of name for MLB that there is. Many exec's and owners are in....uh, most don't have any statistics at all...no MVP's, but they did much for the game, or certainly they are well known. My wife doesn't follow baseball closely. I asked her some names to see who she knew. She never heard of Craig Biggio or Pee Wee Reese, no Ted Simmons..... .but guess one of the names she did recognize? A FAME...ous one. Roger Maris
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0 #7 Darryl Tahirali 2017-08-29 01:52
From the article:
Quote:
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.

ID PA AB H 2B HR R RBI BB OPS+ bWAR Line
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.
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+2 #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.
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+2 #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.
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+3 #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.
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+9 #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.
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