Just eight months ago I sat at my desk and typed up a column.
It was pretty special because I was breaking the news that the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame was considering Roger Maris.
Well, I'm not essentially breaking the full news now, but it is official. Roger Maris is going into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He will be inducted May 9 at the University Plaza Convention Center in Springfield, Mo where the Hall of Fame is based.
To make the moment even more special, Maris' Cardinals teammates Mike Shannon and Curt Flood will also be inducted along with scout Tom Greenwade, a scout who signed Maris' longtime friend and Yankees teammate Mickey Mantle. You couldn't pick a day to honor Roger Maris without honoring some of his teammates as well. When you read everything about the legendary outfielder, his humble and shy demeanor wouldn't want an entire day where everyone was focused on him.
The Cardinals' World Series winning teams of 1964 and 1967 will be added to the Hall's Honor Roll of World Champions.
It's only fitting that the induction ceremonies take place May 9, No. 9 was Maris number in New York and St. Louis. The Yankees retired it in his honor in 1984. And you know, it's not Cooperstown (Maris' induction there is one of the biggest baseball debates of them all) but a Missouri Sports Hall of Fame induction is certainly a well deserved honor.
In Missouri alone, Maris played for two teams over three and a half years. He played in 446 games, accumulating 1,554 at-bats, 219 runs, 403 hits, 71 doubles, 19 triples, 49 home runs, 3 grand slams, 225 RBIs, 162 walks, 12 intentional walks, 204 strikeouts with a .259 batting average, .514 slugging percentage, and a .319 on-base percentage. Maris hit 15 sacrifice flies and was hit by 10 pitches.
Some guys are lucky if they get those numbers in an entire career. Maris did it playing for the Kansas City Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals.
The request for a media pass is going out this morning and I'm pretty sure a haircut and a new shirt and tie ensemble is in my very near future. Haha.
Roger's son, Randy Maris, will be accepting the posthumous plaque.
I very much hope I get the opportunity to shake Randy Maris' hand, it would certainly be a distinct honor. I want to tell him how much of hero Roger is to me. Roger's the reason deep down I hold onto absolute certainty, the reason I don't let anything get me down because I know I can battle through a tough time, one of the reasons to always stay positive.
May 9 is two weeks away, but it honestly feels like light-years.
I was able to pay my respects to Roger during a week's trip to his hometown of Fargo, ND last August and now the opportunity presents itself to meet one of his sons.
Page 2 of 2 - I just wrote this whole column, but I'm being completely honest, I'm very speechless.