WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 27, 2011, 10:28 PM

Maris legacy bigger than baseball

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - He's the most well known athlete the state of North Dakota has produced. Roger Maris' legacy has surpassed the baseball diamond thanks to his charity golf tournament, but on the 50th anniversary of his historic season, many more are appreciating how great 61 was.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

The number 61 is ever present in Fargo...from the great old footage from Yankee Stadium, to the billboards that were in town a couple years ago proclaiming Maris is still the home run king.

Kevin Maris – Roger’s Son: “I think the things that have taken place in the last 10 years has changed people's feeling about hr record, how tough it was doing it the way he did it.”

Officially Maris sits 7th on the single season home run, but the three men ahead of him have been linked to steroids, making 61 in 61 still the record and Hall of Fame worthy.

Ken Sanders – Former Major Leaguer: it's not just here in Fargo or Moorhead or the state of Minnesota it's worldwide...hopefully he'll get in soon

Bob Costas – Former Maris Banquet Host: “How could you write history of baseball without Maris, what Maris did in light of record, he's the legitimate single season record holder.”

And while Maris may not been in Cooperstown, he's already a Hall of Famer to many...

Randy Maris – Roger’s Son: “When dad passed in the hospital, on the TV scroll along the TV that Hall of Famer Roger Maris had been passed...Couldn’t believe he wasn't in there.”

The Yankees are planning on honoring the 50th anniversary September 23rd before a game against Boston, the Maris family will be there.