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ROGER MARIS - CONTRACT SIGNED 09/05/1961 - DOCUMENT 275009

 

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THE YANKEE MVP AND CONTENDER (WITH MICKEY MANTLE) TO BREAK BABE RUTH'S HOME RUN RECORD FOR A SINGLE SEASON AGREES TO APPEAR IN A TAPING OF PERRY COMO'S KRAFT MUSIC HALL ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1961; HE WOULD HIT HIS RECORD-BREAKING 61ST HOMER TWO DAYS LATER
 
ROGER MARIS.
Carbon Typed DS: "Roger Maris" in ink under "Agreed to and Accepted", 1p, 8½x11. New York, New York, 1961 September 5. Letter from Roncom Productions, Inc., unsigned, to Maris in New York. In part: "We hereby engage you, and you hereby accept said engagement, to appear in the rehearsal, recording and broadcast of the program in the 'PERRY COMO'S KRAFT MUSIC HALL' program series initially sponsored by Kraft Foods scheduled to be videotaped on September 29, 1961, New York, New York for initial NBC-TV network telecast on October 4, 1961...For and in consideration of your said appearance and of all rights granted and obligations to be preformed by you hereunder, we agree to pay you the sum of Seven Thousand Five Hundred ($7500.00) Dollars within ten (10) days following the completion of recording of the program. The annexed Standard Terms and Conditions and mimeographed Rider provisions...are hereby incorporated in and made part of this Agreement...." On thin paper. Lightly creaesd. Staple holes at upper left corner. Fine condition. Accompanied by AFTRA contract, unsigned, 2p, 8½x11, front and verso. Not filled in. "X" drawn through front page, some lines of the "Standard Terms and Conditions" on verso have been inked out. Slightly creased. Staple holes and stray ink mark at upper right margin of contract side. Fine condition. With Rider, unsigned, 11p, 8½x11, separate sheets. Some typed lines have been inked out. Ink notes (unknown hand) on pages 5and 8, where corrections have been made. Slightly creased. Nicked at upper left edge of page 11, Staple holes at upper left corners of all pages. Fine condition. Maris was seen on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall on October 4, 1961, three days after he had broken Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in a single season (he had taped the episode two days before he hit his 61st homer). Maris, who reached the milestone in eight more games than Ruth, hit the record homer in the fourth inning of the last game of the season. Roger Maris (1934-1985), who played for the Cleveland Indians (1957-1958) and the Kansas City Athletics (1958-1959) before donning Yankee pinstripes in 1960, made baseball history on October 1, 1961, when he broke Babe Ruth's season home run record of 60 by hitting his 61st homer. The record had stood for 34 years, and Maris still holds the A.L. record for most home runs in one season. His 37-year-old major league record was broken in 1998 by National Leaguer Mark McGwire (70) and McGwire's record was broken three years later by National Leaguer Barry Bonds (73). Maris was named the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1961 for the second consecutive time (1960, 1961), and he was also a member of the 1961 All-Star team (the third of his four appearances - 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962). Maris, who also won the Gold Glove in 1960, played in five World Series with the Yankees (1960-1964). After being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the 1966 season, he again played in the World Series in the last two seasons of his career (1967, 1968). Three items.


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ROGER MARIS  


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ROGER MARIS
Born: September 10, 1934 in Hibbing, Minnesota
Died: December 14, 1985 in Houston, Texas


Baseball Career:
First Game: April 16, 1957; Final Game: September 29, 1968
Bat: Left Throw: Right Height: 6' 0" Weight: 197

Awards and Achievements: 
Named AL Most Valuable Player by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1960 to 1961)
Named Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1961)
Named AL Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1960 to 1961)
Named outfielder on The Sporting News Major League All-Star Team (1960)
Named outfielder on The Sporting News AL All-Star Team (1961)
Won AL Gold Glove as right fielder (1960)

Roger Maris
This article was written by Bill Pruden and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

With one extraordinary season Roger Maris secured his place in baseball history. And yet his establishment of the major league home run record in 1961 proved to be more of a personal curse than a professional triumph. It also overshadowed, indeed overwhelmed, the totality of a career characterized at least as much by his consistent and important contributions to a string of League and World Championship teams--in both leagues throughout the 1960s--as by any single slugging accomplishment.

The son of immigrants, the future home run king was born Roger Eugene Maras (the family name--or at least his side--was later changed to Maris, a change that may have resulted from family tension) on September 10, 1934, in Hibbing, Minnesota. The family moved to North Dakota when Maris was five, and he graduated from Bishop Shanley High School in Fargo. There he was an athletic legend, once returning four kick-offs for touchdowns in a single game, a feat that remains a national record. Indeed, Maris's football exploits earned him a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma, but quickly realizing that college life was not for him, he turned his full attention to baseball, where he would make an indelible mark.

An American Legion star whose strong all-around play attracted the attention of many scouts, Maris began his professional career in the Cleveland Indians organization, being first assigned to their Fargo-Morehead club in the Northern League in 1953. Achieving much early success, he moved up the ladder the next year to the Keokuk (Iowa) Kernels, where he quickly demonstrated his all-around talent, tying an Three-I League single season record for put-outs by an outfielder in 1954, while hitting .303 and crushing seventy-eight home runs from 1953-56. Keokuk was also the place where Maris, who in his early years viewed himself as a contact hitter, discovered his power. His manager Jo Jo White taught him to pull the ball, thus unleashing what would prove to be a history-making force. But first that power helped lead the Indianapolis Indians to the 1956 Junior World Series title.

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Film Credits
2010 HBO Boxing After Dark (Other), 2010 30 for 30 (Other), 2008 Bigger Stronger Faster* (Other), 2006 Costas Now (Other), 2005 ESPN 25: Who's #1 (Other), 2001 The Greatest Summer of My Life: Billy Crystal and the Making of (Other), 2001 Boston Red Sox: 100 Years of Baseball History (Other), 1998 Race for the Record (Other), 1992 The 50 Greatest Home Runs in Baseball History (Other), 1991 Baseball's Record Breakers (in person), 1986 Pinstripe Power: The Story of the 1961 New York Yankees (Other), 1983 1983 Cracker Jack Oldtimer's Baseball Classic (in person), 1980 It's My Turn (in person), 1980 Hee Haw (in person), 1968 1968 World Series (in person), 1967 1967 World Series (in person), 1964 1964 World Series (in person), 1963 1963 World Series (in person), 1962 Safe at Home! (in person), 1962 1962 World Series (in person), 1961 The National Sports Awards (in person), 1961 The Annual National Sports Awards (in person), 1961 Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (in person), 1961 1961 World Series (in person), 1960-1963 The Ed Sullivan Show (in person), 1960 1960 World Series (in person)


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