It’s the 50th anniversary of Roger Maris’s legendary 61-homer season, and the River City Rascals (independent; Frontier League) are honoring the former Yankee and Cardinal great with a bobblehead proclaiming him the True Home Run King.
Maris’s accomplishment, already memorialized in film and the subject of memorials this season at Yankee Stadium, grabbed the attention of the entire nation. Maris and Mickey Mantle battled to see who would break Babe Ruth‘s single-season home-run record, and ultimately, Maris won the race, topping the Babe when he hammered his 61st home on October 1, 1961.
The Rascals, who play in suburban St. Louis, are honoring the former Cardinal with a bobblehead at the team’s August 20 game, as the first 500 fans through the gates will receive a Maris.
“The single season home run record is the record in sports. Since Roger did it in 1961, only three other men (Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire) have topped 61 in a season” said Rascals President John Kuhn. “Roger Maris set the record in 1961. His record lasted for 36 full seasons until home runs began being hit at an amazing and questionable rate. We feel that Roger Maris is still the True Single Season Home Run King and his feat needs to be remembered by all true baseball fans.”
Maris spent his final two seasons in St. Louis; helping the Cardinals reach the World Series in 1967 and 1968. The Cards won the Series in 1967 when Maris hit .385 with one homer and seven RBI. “Every Cardinal fan over the age of 50 remembers Roger Maris as a key cog to the ’67 Series title,” Kuhn added, “and we are happy that we can keep alive the legacy of a True Home Run King.”
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