The Chase for Roger Maris

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The chase for Roger Maris’ record of 60 homeruns in a season was the most memorable moment in the 1961 Major League Baseball season. However, Maris received death threats from fans of Babe Ruth, whose record he broke. In the 1998 season, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke Maris’ record, but did not receive the same negative response from fans. Instead, they brought fans back to the ballparks and became the new stars of baseball. The reception of ballplayers by fans has changed over time, and it is uncertain who will be the homerun king in the future.

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“The chase for Roger Maris” was the most memorable moments this season in Major League Baseball. However, way back in 1961 Roger Maris was chasing Babe Ruth’s record of 60 homeruns in a season.

Thirty-seven years later in the 1998 M. L. B. season Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were on route to break that record, and they did.

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It began with the chase for Ruth, then the chase for Maris, but what people don’t know is what kind of reception did the baseball players received? No one has really talked about this topic, but I’ll break the ice on this subject. In 1961 Roger Maris topped Babe Ruth Ruth with 60 homeruns by hitting 61 hrs. Back then Roger wasn’t viewed as a prized athlete; in fact, he received numerous death threats by the devoted fans of “The Babe. ” Notwithstanding Maris broke the record of homeruns in a single season, it would have been better if he didn’t.

I’m very assured that he didn’t want this unwelcome fame. Well that’s all in the past now. Let’s flash forward to the 1998 Major League Baseball season. “The chase for Roger Maris” not only saved but also made Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire’s career in baseball.

Prior to this season, Sammy and Mark we’re no more than what the average baseball player is. This season however, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have already tied and broken the Maris’ record of 61 homeruns by blasting 64 McGwire. Sammy Sosa is one behind of McGwire by hitting 63 homeruns. Why hasn’t Mark or Sammy received the response Roger had? Perhaps the fans didn’t want Babe Ruth’s homerun record to be broken, I believe the spectators had a lot of respect for Ruth and what he did for the game.

As far as I know, neither Mark nor Sammy received any death threats. Nevertheless Major League Baseball has two people to thank for this season; Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa because they brought the fans back to the ballparks. As you can see the reception the ball players received from the fans changed over the years. From 1961 where it was the chase for Ruth, to the present to where it’s the chase for history as Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire battle it out for the most homeruns in a single season.

Now, time will only tell for whom will be the homerun king. Sosa or McGwire. And when in the future in M. L. B. will this happen again? Who knows . . ?

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The Chase for Roger Maris. (2018, May 29). Retrieved from

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