Memories of Roger
Local Memories of Roger
Wayne Blanchard, longtime friend: Maris "treated his
friends like one of the family," and when he came to Fargo
"he came to see his friends."
Walt Seeba: Maris's brother-in-law, on Roger's humility. While
out one night in Sioux City, Iowa, Seeba says "No one recognized
Roger until five minutes before closing. Then we got out of there.
But not before Roger autographed a Babe Ruth-autographed baseball
for some guy." Seeba tells another story of being out for coffee
in Kansas City after Roger had flown directly there to join his
family after a Yankees game. Only after two patrons complimented
Roger on his performance did Roger confess that he had two home
runs and seven RBIs.
Bill Weaver: Calls Roger "just as humble as any human being
I've ever met."
Jim McLaughlin: Remembers Maris as a "quiet person who,
unlike a lot of famous players, refused to capitalize on endorsements,
because it would invade his family's privacy."
Respect for Roger among the baseball community
Mickey Mantle: "I still see him in my dreams. We lived
together, we kidded around a lot, we enjoyed our time out there. Roger
was a hell of a player, a Hall of Famer for sure in my book."
Reggie Jackson: "I have so much respect for the man. For
the mental part almost more than the physical. I mean, can you imagine
what it's like to hit 61 home runs in a season? In New York?"
Bobby Richardson: "We played against Maris when he was with
Kansas City and Cleveland. He knocked me down at second base. He was
the best in the league at breaking up the double play."
Hank Aaron: "You know, I had to tell someone recently that
Roger Maris was a damn good ballplayer. People think he had just one
big year, but he was a very good ballplayer. I thought he was one
of the best outfielders I have seen, and he was a very good clutch
Mike Shannon: "I never saw him make one mistake in the outfield.
I played with him every day and I watched him. And when I played against
him in the '64 World Series, the biggest surprise of the series for
me was what a good centerfield he was."
Whitey Herzog: "You couldn't play right field any better
than Roger did. He could make every throw, play shallow, and then
go get the ball. Roger Maris is probably the best ballplayer to ever
play the game who isn't in the Hall of Fame."
Tony Kubek: "One thing Roger had that players lack these
days - more than some - was respect for the game and his teammates
and the opposition."
Maris on Maris: "Sometimes I wish I never hit those
61 home runs. All I want is to be treated like any other player. I
never wanted all this hoopla. All I wanted is to be a good ballplayer,
hit 25 or 30 homers, drive in around a hundred runs, hit .280, and
help my club win pennants. I just wanted to be one of the guys, an
average player with a good season."
Final Resting Place
a two-year battle with lymphatic cancer, Roger Maris died in a Houston,
Texas, hospital at the age of 51. Roger is buried at Holy Cross Catholic
Cemetery, 1502 32nd Avenue North, Fargo, ND. His diamond-shaped headstone
depicts an image of the swinging left-hander with the caption "61,
61". At the base of the stone is the simple inscription, "Against