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Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero Hardcover – March 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416589287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416589280
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“ This is a wonderful, definitive biography. What an extraordinary, misunderstood life of a true American hero who didn’t want to be one. This is a remarkable work that belongs in every baseball fan’s house.”—LARRY KING

“The authors paint a splendid portrait of the Roger Maris I knew very well and the Roger Maris I wish I knew better.”—TIM McCARVER, 21-year major leaguer and Emmy-winning FOX baseball analyst

“The amazing thing about the man who broke Babe Ruth’s record was how little he resembled Babe Ruth. Introverted, troubled, shy, Roger Maris was more like a next-door neighbor than any home-run king, any Sultan of Swat. His struggles to wear the heavy overcoat of fame and notoriety are fascinating. Tom Clavin and Danny Peary show us why it didn’t fit. Terrific work.”—LEIGH MONTVILLE, author of the national bestseller The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth

“Forty-nine years later, Roger Maris remains the authentic single-season home-run king. Perhaps too little, certainly too late in recent years, he has been venerated and vindicated. Better yet, in these pages, he is appreciated."—BOB COSTAS

“Here, finally, is the book that Roger Maris deserved. With deep and dogged reporting, Tom Clavin and Danny Peary have done more than rescue his reputation. In this definitive portrait, Maris acquires a meaning beyond the home-run record. He’s forced to straddle a fault line in American culture, one that separates the stoic from the glib, and authentic heroes from those merely famous. This is fine and fascinating stuff.”—MARK KRIEGEL, columnist for FOXSports.com, author of Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich and Namath: A Biography

About the Author

Tom Clavin is the author or coauthor of sixteen books. For fifteen years he wrote for The New York Times, and magazines he has contributed articles to include Golf, Men's Journal, Parade, Reader's Digest, and Smithsonian. He is currently the investigative features correspondent for Manhattan Magazine. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

Danny Peary is a sports and pop culture historian who has published twenty books. His movie, television, music, and sports articles and interviews have appeared in such publications as FilmInk, Movieline, Satellite Direct, OnDirect TV, TV Guide, TV Guide-Canada, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, The Daily News, The Boston Globe, Sports Collectors Digest, The Soho News, The Philadelphia Bulletin, Films in Focus, Films and Filming, Slant, L.A. Panorama, Memories and Dreams, The East Hampton Independent, and Country Weekly. He is the New York correspondent for the Australian magazine FilmInk and a contributing editor for brink.com  He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 45 customer reviews
The research is flawless and the story is well told.
Jack
Roger does it all and is a great clutch hitter and the Cardinals win the World Series.
Thomas Erickson
The book is well worth reading for those interested in baseball history.
W. Gravning

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on March 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maury Allen wrote a prior biography of Roger Maris in 1986, and now Tom Clavin and Danny Peary have written the definitive biography of baseball's "reluctant hero." Like several other individuals Maris has become more appreciated with the passage of time. Maris had people who would be remembered favorably and unfavorably in his career. Minor league manager Dutch Meyer punished Maris for a poor throw to third base by having him repeatedly make long distance throws to third base until Maris told him enough was enough. Kirby Farrell and Harry Craft would be remembered favorably along with Jo Jo White who taught him to pull the ball.

I graduated from high school in June of 1961 and vividly remember that memorable season when Maris challenged Ruth's home run record. Unlike today when players hold post-game press conferences the Yankees provided no protection for Maris as he was inundated with questions from all sides regarding his opinions on baseball and non-baseball related matters. Yankee publicist Bob Fishel said he never thought of having a press conference at the time following a game. It was baseball commissioner Ford Frick who taught the youth of America the meaning of the word "asterisk" when he proclaimed that Ruth's record must be broken in 154 games. Frick was a close friend of Ruth's and acted as a ghost writer for him. The authors correctly mention the unfortunate incident that took place in 1960 in Detroit involving someone who threw the back of a chair from the right field stands at Maris following a controversial home run by Bill Skowron. The movie 61* incorrectly mentions it as happening in 1961. I know it was in 1960 because I was sitting in the second deck above the Yankees' bullpen for that game.

Roger Maris spent two happy years with the St.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Gregorio on July 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was aware of all the crap that Roger Maris had to put up with during the 1961 season and the ensuing years with the Yankees, which will always amaze me. A very underrated player. He is the true single-season home run record holder, and not the frauds, like "Big Head" Barry Bonds, Sammy "I Don't Speak English" Sosa, or Mark "He Touched My Heart" McGwire, who cheated Maris, Ruth and Aaron, among others.

I liked this book alot because it takes place in the era when I first came to love the game of baseball, and also because I'm a huge Yankees fan. My only quibble is that I could have done without all the Maras/Maris family history. It was confusing and boring to me. Thankfully, most of the book focuses, as it should, on its subject. For those who have friends or family who are Yankees' fans, this would make a great gift.
Recommended
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By V. Jewell on July 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading this book I have even more respect for Roger Maris than ever. This is a man who deserves Hall of Fame admission.
If you want an excellent read, well crafted and filled with observations from witnesses to the events, this is your book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TrueBlueBrewCrew on June 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Very nice book, about a very mis-understood, but very nice man, and great ballplayer. How the press kept him out of the Hall of Fame is one of the biggest crimes perpetrated by the frustrated pundits. Though the book drags a bit with the family tree stuff, you do get a solid appreciation for a guy who has unfortuantely passed for over 25 years. The description of his two MVP seasons in '60 and '61 is very good, as are his two Cardinal years. The book focuses on more than his home runs, but the complete ballplayer he was. His bond with Mickey Mantle is well told also. The last 15 or so pages will tug at your heart, as it describes his last days, as well as his bonds with some of the special people in his life (including Mantle). I re-watched "61", the Billy Crystal movie immediately after reading this. If there is a just God, Roger gets his day in the sun at Cooperstown someday. I hope every voter on the Veterens Committee reads this in the future -- its a crime he's not in there with them. Class book on a class guy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. A. Richey on September 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Obviously, the authors' researcher conducted a lot of research into Maris and his heritage. But writers typically write from the overflow of their research. This book seems to include every jot and tittle that was discovered about Maris and his family lineage. The first two chapters are real snoozers and difficult to follow. And as the reader finds later, peripheral and even unnecessary to the focus of the book! Only when the story finally turns to the ballplayer himself does the book become interesting. But even then the reader has to wade through extraneous information that is seems awkwardly thrown into the narrative in a clumsy and distracting attempt to add historical context to Maris's day. But it is poorly done. I cannot believe the editors didn't correct it. Or if they did, I can't imagine what a jumbled mess the first iteration must have been. But overall, the details of Maris's career and life are interesting and well worth the effort of wading through the frustrating and distracting minutia that at times appear in this voluminous work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gregory B. Demeo on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading this great, new book Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero by Tom Clavin & Danny Peary. No baseball fan will be the same or view Roger Maris in the same way after reading this excellent summary of his career and life. To the authors' credit they have detailed in an unsentimental fashion Roger's career, its ups and downs, and the world around him. To this day, Roger's greatness is not fully appreciated. Read this book and then write a letter to the Veteran's Committee at the Cooperstown Hall of Fame to elect Roger. There is also an online petition:

An online petition to the Veteran's Hall of Fame Committee:

(...)

Nothing will bring back Roger from his untimely death and nothing can make up for the mistreatment that he endured. But George Steinbrenner and the Yankees did some things in the late 1970s and early 1980s to make amends and now the whole Baseball Community could benefit from Roger's election to the Hall of Fame.
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