61 in '61: Roger Maris' Record-Breaking Season

roger maris, 50 years home run record
C&G Collections / Getty Images

Early Promise
Roger Maris, outfielder for the New York Yankees during the 1960s, owes much of his stardom — and the scorn he received as a Yankee — to a single event. At the end of the 1961 season, Maris hit his 61st home run that year, breaking the record held by baseball legend Babe Ruth. The lifelong athlete, born on September 10, 1934 in Minnesota, grew up in Fargo, N.D., and was a standout throughout his school years as a track runner, football and basketball player. Though he had been offered a football scholarship, he chose baseball after a scout for the Cleveland Indians noticed his talent. After coming up with the Indians, he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics and then to the Yankees. Here, he bats for the Yankees during a 1961 game in New York.

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