Neighbors was asked about who the parents of Roger Maris were.
So Neighbors went to Forum sports editor Kevin Schnepf, who provided this information and lots more about Fargo’s famed baseball home run hitter.
Kevin found that Roger was born Sept. 10, 1934, in Hibbing Minn., to Rudolph “Rudy” and Corrine (Perkovich) Maras, both of whom were of Croatian origin.
Roger had a brother Rudy, who was known as “Buddy.” He was a year older than Roger. Buddy developed polio in 1951.
Roger changed the spelling of his last name to Maris.
The Maras family moved to Grand Forks in 1942 and to Fargo in 1946, where Roger attended Shanley High School.
Unfortunately, Roger’s parents had a turbulent marriage and divorced in 1960. Rudy died in Fargo in 1992 at age 81, outliving Roger.
After Roger retired from baseball, he moved to Gainesville, Fla, where his mother had moved previously. Corrine died in 2004 at the age of 90.
Roger died in 1985.
Thanks to Kevin for providing this information.
Speaking of Roger, here’s an email from Will Tickell, who lives near Rollag, Minn., on Lake 15. He’s a longtime baseball fan, and has been a big fan of Roger’s ever since he moved to this area. In fact, he’s such a fan of Roger’s that he’d like to eventually buy the Maris house in Fargo and return it to its original condition, if need be.
He says their home, located at 1324 Fifth Ave. N., looks like “a nice house.”
Will adds that he owns “a really awesome newspaper scrapbook of the ‘61 season and postseason (the year Roger hit his then-record 61 homers). An older friend in Chicago gave it to me 42 years ago when I was 12.”
And now, here’s a correction to a Maris story run in Neighbors earlier this year.
It comes from Jack Brustad, Olathe, Kan., who writes that “Your article on Roger stated that Fargo won the state championship every year from 1949 to 1952.
“Just to set the record straight,” he writes, “Fargo did not win the state American Legion baseball championship in 1951. Wahpeton did. They were led by pitcher Steve Myhra.”
Jack himself played for the Grand Forks American Legion team in 1952-1953.
Another Maris record
But before this game is over (so to speak), here’s a story about Roger when he was attending Shanley High School.
It comes from George “Skeeter” Ziegler, formerly of Devils Lake, N.D., and now a snowbird in Mesa, Ariz.
“One of the memorable stories I have of him,” Skeeter writes, “happened in the fall of 1951.
“The Shanley Deacons came to take on the Devils Lake football team.
“It was a back-and-forth game with the Deacons coming out on top.
“Roger set a national record in that game for the most non-scrimmage yards in a game. He was able to return two kickoffs, one punt and one intercepted pass, all for touchdowns.
“Why is this memorable to me?
“I was the kicker, the punter and the passer. Therefore, I must have set some kind of record, also!
“I was able to compete with Roger in several sports during that era,” Skeeter says, “and I have many good memories of the ‘50s.”
He adds that he and his wife spend their summers near Butte, N.D., on a farm where they raise pheasants “and enjoy the outdoors of North Dakota.”
They also plan to spend part of this summer with their son and his family at Lake Elsie at Hankinson, N.D.
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.