Roger Eugene Maris (September 10, 1934 – December 14, 1985) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right fielder for four teams, from 1957 through 1968. Maris set a major-league record by hitting 61 home runs during the 1961 season for the New York Yankees, breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record of 60 home runs in 1927. This record was challenged by then baseball commissioner Ford Frick, who said that Maris needed to break the record in 154 games instead of the current schedule of 162 games.
Maris began his professional baseball career in 1953. He reached the major leagues in 1957 playing for the Cleveland Indians. He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics during the 1958 season, and to the Yankees after the 1959 season. He finished his 12-year major league career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967 and 1968. Maris was an American League (AL) All-Star from 1959 through 1962, a Most Valuable Player in 1960 and 1961, and Gold Glove outfielder in 1960.
Maris appeared in seven World Series, five as a member of the Yankees and two with the Cardinals. His accomplishment of 61 home runs in a season came back to the forefront in 1998, when the home run record was broken by Mark McGwire and later that same year by Sammy Sosa.
By Dean Hanley
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