RedHawks infielder Peter Maris trying to produce in Fargo like his legendary namesake
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks second baseman Peter Maris is not related to Roger Maris, the legendary New York Yankees slugger and Fargo Shanley graduate.
FARGO — Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks second baseman Peter Maris grew up around 1,800 miles away from Fargo near the beach in southern California, but had a North Dakota connection due to his last name.
While he’s not related to Roger Maris, he had an image of the legendary New York Yankees slugger and Fargo Shanley graduate.
“When I was growing up, I had his picture on the wall and I was No. 9 when I was a kid,” said Maris, who is from Dana Point, Calif.
Roger Maris’ No. 8 jersey, which he wore with the F-M Twins, is retired and displayed at Newman Outdoor Field. RedHawks manager Chris Coste pointed that out to Maris soon after he arrived in Fargo during the preseason.
“You better do good, too, because your name is on our stadium up there,” Coste recalled of a conversation he had with Maris. “You better be really good in Fargo.”
Maris has delivered so far, settling in at the leadoff spot and playing strong infield defense for the RedHawks. F-M hosts Sioux Falls at 7:02 p.m. Tuesday at Newman to start a nine-game homestand. The RedHawks (14-7) have played 18 of their first 21 games on the road.
The left-handed swinging Maris is batting .283 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 16 RBIs with 11 walks. He's scored 16 runs.
“Peter is such an amazing, well-rounded player at any level,” Coste said. “So his level of consistency with defense, offense, running the bases, big hits and then filling a need at the leadoff spot, can’t even be measured (on) what he’s brought to us so far.”
Maris said soon after he arrived in Fargo, he went to the Roger Maris Museum in the West Acres Mall.
“I thought that was pretty cool. It’s a special name here in Fargo,” Maris said. “I like that stuff. That name has been with me since I was growing up.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Maris played college baseball for UC Santa Barbara before he joined the Tampa Bay Rays organization in 2015. He advanced as high as Class Triple-A in the San Francisco Giants organization before joining the RedHawks prior to this season.
In 2021, Maris played 75 games for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. While his goal is to land back in affiliated baseball and chase a chance to play in Major League Baseball, Maris is focused on impacting winning with the RedHawks.
“At the end of the day, you’re still playing baseball and that’s what I love to do,” Maris said. “I’m trying to win. I’m trying to have fun. Winning is fun, I’m going to try to do the best I can every day.”
Maris said long before he landed in Fargo, he was asked about his last name and if he was related to Roger Maris, who was the longtime single-season home run king after belting 61 home runs in 1961.
“Everywhere I go since pro ball, every city I’ve gone to, people have asked me,” said Maris, who has also watched the movie “61*.” “Even back home. … I wish I could say, yeah, that would be awesome. The truth is I’m not related. I thought it was cool having the same last name and the home run record, I thought that was pretty cool growing up.”
Maris grew up an Anaheim Angels fan and liked to watch former Angels infielder David Eckstein. Former Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts was also one of his favorites.
“Him being a smaller guy and doing the little things right, I really took that away,” Maris said of admiring Eckstein’s game.
Coste said having Maris as a threat to drive the ball from the leadoff spot to help set the table for the rest of the RedHawks’ lineup. Coste added Maris can turn a double play with a Major League level of competency.
“He does so many good things, but it’s like punching your opponent in the face right when the game starts,” Coste said.
Maris hopes he can continue to live up to the Maris name in Fargo.
“I think that’s pretty special to continue that last name and hopefully play well," Maris said.