Roger Maris

Baseball's Reluctant Hero

Roger Maris

Tom Clavin and Danny Peary chronicle the life and career of baseball’s “natural home run king” in the first definitive biography of Roger Maris—including a brand-new chapter to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his record breaking season.

Roger Maris may be the greatest ballplayer no one really knows. In 1961, the soft-spoken man from the frozen plains of North Dakota enjoyed one of the most amazing seasons in baseball history, when he outslugged his teammate Mickey Mantle to become the game’s natural home-run king. It was Mantle himself who said, “Roger was as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was.” Yet Maris was vilified by fans and the press and has never received his due from biographers—until now.

Tom Clavin and Danny Peary trace the dramatic arc of Maris’s life, from his boyhood in Fargo through his early pro career in the Cleveland Indians farm program, to his World Series championship years in New York and beyond. At the center is the exciting story of the 1961 season and the ordeal Maris endured as an outsider in Yankee pinstripes, unloved by fans who compared him unfavorably to their heroes Ruth and Mantle, relentlessly attacked by an aggressive press corps who found him cold and inaccessible, and treated miserably by the organization. After the tremendous challenge of breaking Ruth’s record was behind him, Maris ultimately regained his love of baseball as a member of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. And over time, he gained redemption in the eyes of the Yankee faithful.

With research drawn from more than 130 interviews with Maris’s teammates, opponents, family, and friends, as well as sixteen pages of photos, some of which have never before been seen, this timely and poignant biography sheds light on an iconic figure from baseball’s golden era—and establishes the importance of his role in the game’s history.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416589297 | 
  • May 2011

Video

Roger Maris, baseball's greatest unsung hero

Roger Maris: The Life of Baseball's Reluctant Hero is the first definitive biography of the life and career of the amazing baseball legend.

Read an Excerpt

More Books from this Author

The Heart of Everything That Is
Sir Walter
Last Men Out

About the Authors

Tom Clavin
Anne Drager

Tom Clavin

Tom Clavin is the author or coauthor of sixteen books. For fifteen years he wrote for The New York Times, and magazines he has contributed articles to include Golf, Men's Journal, Parade, Reader's Digest, and Smithsonian. He is currently the investigative features correspondent for Manhattan Magazine. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

BECOME A FAN
Danny Peary
Photograph © Suzanne Rafer

Danny Peary

Danny Peary is a sports and pop culture historian who has published twenty books. His movie, television, music, and sports articles and interviews have appeared in such publications as FilmInk, Movieline, SatelliteDirect, OnDirect TV, TV Guide, TV Guide-Canada, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, The Daily News, The Boston Globe, Sports Collectors Digest, The Soho News, The Philadelphia Bulletin, Films in Focus, Films and Filming, Slant, L.A. Panorama, Memories and Dreams, The East Hampton Independent, and Country Weekly. He is the New York correspondent for the Australian magazine FilmInk and a contributing editor for brink.com  He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US