Muscle Sport Magazine

Roger Maris Bunting in 1961; Calling a Reporter a ‘Cocksucker’

Wikipedia Commons/Labeled For Reuse

The year 1961 was one filled with a two-man home run chase like the 1998 one between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. There were a few differences, however, such as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle both being on the same team (the New York Yankees) and trying to break the record from the greatest Yankee if all time in Babe Ruth. The result was the ‘newcomer’ Maris not getting as much support as the homegrown Mantle, even when the latter was shelved by an injury. Maris felt the pressure of the chase in the waning days of the regular season, the constant peppering of questions by the media and the talk of including an asterisk in the record book since Ruth did it in 154 games, the full regular season in the old days before expansion and 162 games being played.

So it comes as no surprise that Maris had a negative reaction following a 7-3 win over the Washington Senators on this day in baseball – September 7, 1961 – after not only hitting his 55th round tripper of the summer, but also unselfishly laying down a successful bunt, when a sportswriter asked him why he would use such a small ball strategy.

“To win the game, you stupid cocksucker. Why do you think?”

Maris went on to pass Ruth when he hit his 61st home run later in the season and it has always been a mark of contention amongst baseball purists and those who feel Maris was the legitimate champion. All was for naught – sort of – when McGwire hit 72 (and Sosa 66) in 1998 and then Barry Bonds clocked 73 in 2001; all three have been accused of anabolic steroid use and many feel that their statistics should not count over the likes of Maris and Ruth.




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