From Publishers Weekly
As New York Post sportswriter Allen suggests, if ever a sports celebrity was victimized by the press, and by his own shyness, it was Maris. Happy with the Kansas City Athletics, Maris was dejected on being traded to the Yankees, but resolved to do his best nonetheless. His best included a record-setting 61 home runs in 1961, a season when he was virtually besieged by reporters, whom he met after every game and whose questions he answered politely though tersely. Overshadowed by his popular and extroverted teammate Mickey Mantle, he developed a reputation as being thorny, difficult, even hostile. In interviews with many who knew Maris, Allen shows him to have been a warm and friendly, if private, man. The book is an unabashed pitch for Maris, who died in 1985, to be elected to the Hall of Fame, but it is also most affecting, and the opening chapter is sportwriting at its best. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA Numerous interviews with Maris' friends and teammates reveal an honest and shy man who faced incredible pressure as he threatened and broke Babe Ruth's single-season home run record. The controversy concerning the difference in the length of their seasons is examined thoroughly. The book, which closely chronicles that famous season of 1961, will be particularly appealing to baseball fans of the late 1950s and on. It is written in reporters' style, but the ``real life'' quality of the interviews sustains interest, and readers become acquainted with that circle of friends who remained in contact with Maris until his death from cancer in 1985. Maris will remain somewhat of a mystery to readers even after all of the interviews. There is a general aura of sadness about his life of struggle with the pressures in 1961, the season-length controversy, and finally with cancer. An appendix of Maris' career playing record is included. Sue McGown, St. John's School, Houston
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.