Embracing the Asterisk
September 16, 2009

I was 10 in 1961.

I had a whiffle haircut just like him and swung my bat just like him: Roger Maris.

I had no idea who Babe Ruth was, other than a Yankee.

All I knew was Roger Maris was going break the home run record.

And he did.

On the last day, on a Sunday, and on my TV.

All this talk today that the only reason Barry Bonds is being singled out for using steroids is because he is black and it is racism being practiced by the white baseball media is BS.

It’s about chasing after hallowed records.

Every ballplayer, which closes in on a cherished record comes under the microscope. Cobb, Rose, Aaron, McGuire, Bonds and yes, Maris.

The press hounded and attacked Maris all year.

He was white.

They called him a whiner, a crybaby, not fit to be a ‘true’ Yankee.

They said he was sullen, didn’t get along with his teammates, was jealous of Mickey Mantle, and hated him.

It was all lies…

Maris was so hounded by the press he stopped giving interviews so he could relax and just play the game.

By August he was losing his hair.

The only performance enhancement he put in his body was Wheaties.

He didn’t drink alcohol.

He was just a farm boy from North Dakota and a damn good ball player.

No One took an extra base on this right fielder.

Ask Matty Alou, in the 9th, in game 7 in ’62.

So Ford Frick declares that Roger Maris has to break the record in 156 games or the official book will bear an asterisk (*) next to his name, because 1961 had 162 games.

And for 45 years we had to live with an asterisk for all the WRONG reasons.

Now I embrace that asterisk.

It stands for something new and different and one I can be proud of as a baseball fan.


*Single season all time home run leader without cheating

McGuire [white], Sosa [Latino], Bonds [black] are CHEATERS.

CHEATERS come in all colors and sizes and races.

I’ll embrace the asterisk.