West Acres

Remembering Roger

Reflections from Longtime Friends and Famous Colleagues


“Roger treated his friends like one of the family, and when he came to Fargo, he came to see his friends.”
– Wayne Blanchard, longtime friend


While out one night in Sioux City, Iowa, “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.”
– Walt Seeba, brother-in-law


“Roger was just as humble as any human being I’ve ever met.” – Bill Weaver, friend

 Maris Mantle at Yankee Stadium

“Roger was a quiet person who, unlike a lot of famous players, refused to capitalize on endorsements, because it would invade his family’s privacy.” – Jim McLaughlin, founder of Roger Maris Museum

 
“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.” – Mickey Mantle

 

“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?” – Reggie Jackson


“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.” – Bobby Richardson


“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 hitter.” – Hank Aaron


“I never saw him makRoger Maris and Whitey Herzog, 1961e 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.” Mike Shannon


“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.” – Whitey Herzog


“One thing Roger had that players lack these days – more than some – was respect for the game and his teammates and the opposition.” – Tony Kubek


“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.” – Roger Maris


Final Resting Place

After a two-year battle with lymphatic cancer, Roger Maris died December 14, 1985 in a Houston, Texas, hospital at the age of 51. Roger is buried at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, which is located at 1502 32nd Avenue North in Fargo, North Dakota. His diamond-shaped headstone depicts an image of the swinging left-hander with the caption “61, 61”. At the base of the stone is a simple inscription: “Against All Odds.”

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