From Kevin Nelson at Sports Collectors Digest on June 1, on SABR member Andy Strasberg:
The current baseball season marks the 50th anniversary of the year that Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record – and no one is going to celebrate this fact more than former San Diego Padres executive Andy Strasberg.
Strasberg, now a sports agent who runs a marketing firm in San Diego that represents retired ballplayers, can easily be described as Maris’ ultimate fan.
“Other than my dad,” Strasberg said, “Roger Maris was the most important male in my life. I’m 62 years old, and he’s still my hero.”
Strasberg’s admiration for Maris began as a boy and continues to this day, as he gives motivational talks around the country about his friendship with Maris and how their relationship over the years changed his life. Strasberg has delivered such talks hundreds of times during his lifetime. He has become so close to Maris’ widow Pat and his family that one of Roger’s grandsons is named Andrew, in honor of Strasberg, who is also the child’s godfather.
“I was 12 years old when Roger Maris joined the Yankees (in 1960),” recalls Strasberg, a native New Yorker who grew up “in the shadows of Yankee Stadium,” as he puts it. “Everybody else was a Mantle fan. But I didn’t want to be a Mantle fan.” His guy was Maris, and that dramatic next season when he hit 61 home runs in the face of widespread – and often nasty – public and press disapproval, was “the greatest summer of my youth,” Strasberg said.
Read the full article here: http://www.sportscollectorsdigest.com/article/andy_strasberg_roger_maris
Related story: Andy Strasberg hopes to give 50 talks this year on his relationship with Roger Maris (SABR.org, March 17)
Originally published: June 2, 2011. Last Updated: June 2, 2011.