Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Maris: The Real Deal

Top Blogs After watching White Sox players "watch" other major leaguers play baseball at Cleveland's Progressive Field this afternoon, I had very little desire to recap the game for my blog readers. Extremely little. Then my eight year-old threw me a curve ball, "Dad, which baseball player has the record for most home runs in one season?" Unflinchingly, I uttered "Roger Maris."

In 1998, Mark McGwire surpassed Maris' single season mark of 61, accomplishing the feat while baseball was still under watchful eyes. Eyes of skeptics and purists alike, waiting for the next big bomb to drop. A 1994 contract dispute between owners, players and the MLBPA caused the cancellations of 948 games overall and the first cancellation of a World Series since 1904. Following McGwire's historic shot in St. Louis, McGwire even took time to walk over to the Maris family and share a cry with them. Not only was baseball reaching plateaus Babe Ruth himself could not have envisioned, Sammy Sosa was also hitting home runs at a record pace. He too would pass Maris that very same year. Something was amiss.
--Fist pumps, high-fives, pointing to the heavens, back taps and even hugs

Plain Language: Sosa, and McGwire were using tons of HGH and banned substances to help increase muscle form. Simply put; they have a much better chance of hitting the ball out of the park by using these substances. Now Sosa and McGwire are ZEROS and Barry Bonds is the poster child for 'Hero to Zero.'
Enough Said: Selig needs to get Maris' family back together and present them with a trophy that signifies that Roger still holds the record. Roger Maris played in the shadow of Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig. It was extremely difficult for the aging Croatian pinstriper to come to terms with the fact that he "stole" the Babe's home-run crown. Many of Maris' teammates knew that Maris was going through an extreme depression near the end of that 1961 season. Unrelenting hampering by the media, drinking late into the night, smoking one cigarette after another and watching his thin hair fall out in clumps. Maris broke Ruth's record in the final game of the season. That was real. That was dramatic. No Steroids, No HGH, No Creams.....and as far as I am concerned, no Hall of Fame inductions for sissy, fake, crybabies who point to the sky after hitting those 600 FT home-runs.
"It would have been a helluva lot more fun if I had not hit those sixty-one
home runs. "--Roger Maris