College student campaigns to get Roger Maris in the Hall of Fame

2 01 2017
Colin McCann in his Roger Maris jersey visiting the Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, N.D., in 2015.

Colin McCann in his Roger Maris jersey visiting the Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, N.D., in 2015. Photo used with permission.

I’ve known for a while about the Facebook page, Roger Maris Belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame and the related petition drive campaigning for Maris to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

I guess I expected it was the work of another Baby Boomer who fell in love with Maris as a boy in 1961, as I did. If I mention Maris to college students, only the hard-core baseball fans even know who Maris is. But it turns out the young man leading the campaign is younger than Maris was when he broke Babe Ruth’s record 55 years ago.

My Roger Maris blanket, a gift from his wife, Patricia.

My Roger Maris blanket, a gift from his wife, Patricia.

I connected with Colin McCann after posting a link about my gift from Patricia Maris on the Maris page, figuring fans of the page might be interested in my post. McCann and I exchanged supportive messages and he said something about a class and I thought he was teaching. But then it was clear that he was a student. Slow to catch on, I figured he was what higher education calls a “non-traditional student,” an old guy like me who’s taking classes. But no, Colin McCann is a 21-year-old college student, fighting for a man who earned his baseball fame before McCann was born. He’s a Twins fan seeking recognition for a star whose greatest achievement came the year the Senators moved to Minnesota.

A feature on the youth in Rosemount Town Pages says his interest in Maris stems from a gift his parents gave him in eighth grade, the Billy Crystal move 61*, an excellent movie that illustrates Maris’s fame. McCann was surprised and appalled to learn that Maris wasn’t recognized in Cooperstown, so he started his campaign. In addition to creating the Facebook page, which has more than 3,200 likes, McCann has launched an online petition, which has more than 1,000 signatures.

The passion has driven McCann to visit Maris’s grave and museum in Fargo, N.D., and even the slugger’s off-season home in Raytown, Mo.

My pancreatic cancer has spread to my liver, making it doubtful that I will survive this year. But I’m pleased to see a young fan taking up the cause for Maris, whose next shot at Hall of Fame election will be in 2020.

Colin McCann visiting Roger Maris's grave in 2015. Photo used with permission.

Colin McCann visiting Roger Maris’s grave in 2015. Photo used with permission.

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2 responses

2 01 2017
John Becker

Way to go Colin McCann! We need the younger generations of baseball fans to support this campaign because Roger Maris definitely deserves to be in the HOF. What this young man is doing is awesome and we need more like him. Great story!

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2 01 2017
Becky Mel Bruemmer

absolutely – the most ridiculous oversight ever – there should be no “Hall Of Fame” if Roger Maris is not in it – he is probably as famous of a baseball player next to Babe Ruth that ever lived.

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