He got a bum rap. It started with the press who rode him like a cowboy rides a bull. They hammered him like a carpenter hammers a nail. They chewed him up and spit him out like a cow chews its cud. Sort of like todays version of fake news I guess. I’m talking about the press and sports writers and announcers in 1961. The hated Roger Maris even calling him a one-year wonder forgetting that the year before while playing for the New York Yankees he won the AL League’s MVP award. The taunts of the crowd and yes Yankee fans started soon after the press began to give it to him. Maris was a country guy, quiet and reserved and because he wasn’t loud and brash the press accused him of being rude, unfriendly and stuck-up.
Deep down he was a very nice man with a loving wife and two kids. After he broke Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a season with 61 round trippers in 1961. Because it took Maris 8 more games to break the Babes record, Babes friend and ghost writer, baseball Commissioner Ford Frick decided to plague Roger with an asterisk after his record of 61 homers letting the world know it took him 8 more games. What a chicken s%&t thing to do. What you can’t take away from Maris was what he did 57 years ago on this day 1961 when he won the AL MVP for the second year in a row.