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While it's in some cases presumed that these achievements suffice to merit Maris an area in Cooperstown, a more detailed look at the slugger's 12-year career (1957-68) recommends that he's exactly where he ought to be with respect to the Hall of Popularity: on the exterior. It's not that Maris wasn't an outstanding and essential ballplayer for a stretch, it's that beyond those 2 remarkable seasons and his signature achievement, he never sustained Hall-caliber play for long.


He was born Roger Eugene Maras on September 10, 1934, in Hibbing, Minnesota; not till he was in the minors, in 1955, would his family change the spelling of its Croatian name to Maris, which assisted him prevent taunts of "Mare-Ass!" The young Maras grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, where his football expertise earned him a scholarship deal from the University of Oklahoma.

He had actually starred on an American Legion team that won the state champion, playing the outfield alongside his bro Rudy, who was a year older. Scouts took interest in the lefty-swinging Maris, and Cleveland signed him for a $15,000 bonus offer in 1953, which permitted him to begin his career in his home town with the group's Northern League affiliate, the Fargo-Moorehead Twins.

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He broke camp with the big club in 1957, and went 3-for-5 in his debut, with all three hits coming off the White Sox's Billy Pierce, who's also on this Golden Days tally. Maris reeled off a nine-game streak to begin his career, highlighted by an 11th-inning grand slam in his 2nd video game.

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235/. 344/. 405 line with 14 homers. Read More Here scuffled at the start of the 1958 season. On June 15, general supervisor Frank "Trader" Lane who had taken over the previous winter dealt him to the Kansas City A's in a five-player offer, with All-Star infielder Vic Power headlining the return.

He broke out in 1959, making the AL All-Star group for the very first time at age 24 despite missing a month following the elimination of his appendix. He was striking a sizzling. 335/. 397/. 585 with 14 homers through July before cooling off and homering just two more times; he still completed with a 123 OPS+ (273/.