The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) announced today that 58 years ago, on this day, October 1, 1961, Roger Maris (Maraš) of the New York Yankees, hit his record 61st home run in one baseball season, eclipsing the 34-year old record of 60 home runs by baseball legend Babe Ruth.
Roger Maris was born in 1934 in Hibbing, Minnesota to Croatian American parents.
Maris played 12 years of major league baseball. He hit 275 Home runs, was All-Star 12 times, won the World Series 3 times, was the Most Valuable Player 2 times, Gold Glove Award winner, and had his number (9) retired by the New York Yankees. The New York Yankees Old Timers Game in 1984 featured the retirement of his number 9 and the addition of a plaque in his honor that took place alongside those of other Yankee greats in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium.
“The more people said he couldn’t do it, he tried harder – he became more determined,” Tony Kubek, one of Maris’s teammates on the 1961 New York Yankees, said in August, 1998.
Click here to read more about Roger Maris.
“Whether it’s the World Cup, Olympics, Wimbledon or the seven players in the NBA, Croatians have been synonymous with success on the global sports scene since the very beginning. The idea of a Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame is very exciting and something that will certainly have many candidates for years to come.” says Pete Radovich, Jr., CBS Sports Creative Director, 37-time Emmy Award winner and Croatian American!
The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) hereby has officially inaugurated today the formation of the Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame.
The NFCACF is excited to salute the many Croatian Americans who have contributed and made their mark with valor, fortitude and lasting results in all areas of sports. Their achievements are impressive. The list is long and admirable: from baseball, basketball, boxing, football, ice hockey, rowing, to coaching, refereeing, sports administration and sports management. The names are impressive. It is time to recognize those individuals and coaches for their exemplary sports achievements and for their Croatian heritage.
Roger Maris, Croatian American Baseball Legend is the perfect candidate for the initial class of the Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame. The complete list of the first Inaugural Sports Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced in the summer of 2020.
The Inaugural Ceremony to the Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame is planned for the Fall of 2020 in New York City. For additional information, contributions or suggestions, please send an email to Vedran Joseph Nazor, the NFCACF Sports Committee Chair at: [email protected]
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