FARGO — During the Roger Maris All Star Week in Fargo this summer, there was a lot more than just golf and celebrities.
Dr. Michael Bouton, who specializes in breast cancer surgery at Roger Maris Cancer Center, saw it as a way to raise awareness and money for the cancer center.
"If you lived in New York, you were pretty much a Yankees fan," Bouton said.
He represented his New York ties by wearing a Yankees-style Roger Maris pinstripe jersey at the All Star Week events. The jersey caught the eye of author and well known authority on Roger Maris, Andy Strasberg.
Strasberg has been to the Fargo Maris fundraisers summer after summer.
"The design is simplistically, beautifully New York Yankees — meaning pinstripes. It's got the number on the back: 61," Strasberg said. "And that is when I turned to Fran Maris, and said, 'Man, I would like to get one of those jerseys.'"
Strasberg saw the jersey on Bouton at 701 Eateries in Fargo. They talked briefly, and it turned out that Bouton has a familial connection to the Yankees. His dad's cousin, Jim Bouton, actually played with Roger Maris for the Yankees in the early 1960s.
As Bouton left the restaurant that night, he gave the pinstriped Maris jersey to Strasberg.
"I had a T-shirt under that shirt, and I thought, 'This shirt will mean something to him,'" Bouton said. "I loved having it, but it would mean something to him that would be exponentially greater to me."
Andy Strasberg said he got emotional that night holding the jersey, but after retelling the stories to others, he was told, "That's how we deal with things here."
"There are things you should do in life because it is the right thing to do, and expecting nothing in return," Bouton said. "That is what I learned from my dad."
As Strasberg pointed out in a post made to social media, "Over the years, I have often been the recipient of Fargo kindness and generosity. 'How Fargo of You' is like a Mitzvah."