Fifty years ago Saturday, Roger Maris hit the memorable home run that secured his legacy in baseball history: No. 61.
On the anniversary of Maris’ record-breaking home run — a solo shot to right field off Boston’s Tracy Stallard on October 1, 1961, breaking Babe Ruth’s iconic mark for homers in a single season — the baseball community will celebrate his achievement with events planned around New York.
In three separate events this week, Andy Strasberg will deliver his memorable presentation on his lifelong friendship with the Yankees slugger. In March we profiled Strasberg, a San Diego Padres marketing executive for two decades, and his must-be-heard-to-be-believed story about Maris.
“This is important to me, to keep the memory of my childhood hero alive,” said Strasberg, who has delivered nearly 40 talks on Maris this year. “It’s a unique and very unbelievable relationship. The twists and turns that it has taken …”
The longtime SABR member’s story has been documented in Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, The Wall Street Journal, Baseball Lives, Chicken Soup for the Baseball Soul and numerous other publications.
In New York City
At 6 p.m. Saturday, October 1, Strasberg will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Maris’ record-breaking home run at the Walter Bruno Auditorium, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Library in New York. He will introduce 61*, the Billy Crystal HBO film chronicling that memorable season (and featuring a prominent cameo by Strasberg), and the movie will be shown afterward.
Earlier that day, at 11 a.m., he will also share his story at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Montclair, New Jersey, on the campus of Montclair State University.
Strasberg will also deliver his Maris presentation on Thursday, September 29, beginning at 6 p.m. at Foley’s Bar in New York (18W 33rd St, between 5th and 6th avenues, just scross the street from the Empire State Building.) Details for that event can be found here.
If you would like to schedule Strasberg for a SABR chapter meeting or another event this year, contact him at MyMarisStory@aol.com.
Also Saturday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will offer a special gallery talk about Maris throughout the day Saturday. Visitors to the museum can stop by the Hall of Fame’s newest exhibit, One for the Books: Baseball Records and the Stories Behind Them, to see the bat and ball from Maris’ historic achievement, and to learn more about his record-breaking season and its place in baseball history.
The special gallery talk in the One for the Books exhibit will be offered three times Saturday, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and at 2:42 p.m., the exact moment that Maris hit his record breaking blast. The program is included with admission to the museum and no reservations are required.
For more information on the National Baseball Hall of Fame, visit http://www.baseballhall.org.
Originally published: September 28, 2011. Last Updated: September 28, 2011.