Baseball Hall of Fame campaign leads Minnesota teen across country

By Kris Collins

Colin McCann poses next to Roger Maris’ gravesite in Fargo, North Dakota. McCann stopped by on the way home from vacation.

Colin McCann poses next to Roger Maris’ gravesite in Fargo, North Dakota. McCann stopped by on the way home from vacation.

For the past six years Colin McCann, a 19-year-old college student from Minnesota, has been on a mission to get Yankees standout Roger Maris inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Last month, his quest brought inquiries to Raytown, where Maris’ family once lived.

The Maris-mania began for McCann when he was in the eighth grade after his parents bought him the biographical film about Maris, “61*.”

“I had never paid too much attention to the Hall of Fame or anything like that,” McCann said. “But when I learned from the movie that he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame, I was stunned.”

Maris played seven seasons with the Yankees and also had successful stints with the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City (now Oakland) Athletics, and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was the MLB’s single-season home run record-holder for 37 years and still holds the record for most home runs hit in a single season by an American League player with 61 in the 1961 season.

After learning Maris was not in the Hall of Fame, McCann took to the Internet to make a Facebook page in support of Maris’ induction.

“I still believe that someone who’s held a home run record for over 50 years belongs in the Hall of Fame,” McCann said. “But I’m trying now because of my admiration for him.  From all the comments from people who’ve signed my petition, they all agree with me that someone of both Maris’ athletic ability and Maris’ persona deserves this.

“I have talked to so many of his fans, and after seeing Maris’ gravesite and scanning notes left by people, and his museum in Fargo, North Dakota, I’m doing it for all these people.”

The Facebook page support is the fuel for a petition for Maris’ induction McCann also runs. The petition currently has 742 signatures. His goal is 3,000 by 2017 when the ballot for inductions comes out. Over the past nine months, McCann has reached out to several newspapers to spread the word about his campaign, to former teammates of Maris’ and his family members to garner their support. “Three of the most notable names are Billy Crystal, director of” 61*,” and Bob Costas, a notable Maris advocate —he did his eulogy on ESPN after he died in 1985 — and Roger’s long-time friend Andy Strasberg,” McCann said. “That’s my next goal: to get in touch with Billy Crystal, Bob Costas, and the Maris family.  As for Strasberg, I messaged him on Facebook a couple of days ago.  I’m just waiting to hear back from him.”

McCann said he has his eyes on the 2018 induction, but he won’t quit if he isn’t successful in two-and-a-half year.

“Whenever he gets in, I’ll be there,” McCann said. “Whether that be 2018, 2021, 2024, or any other year.”

McCann’s Facebook page in support of Maris’ induction is called, “Roger Maris belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame”.

Sign the petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/vote-roger-maris-in-the-national-baseball-hall-of-fame.html

Photo courtesy of Colin McCann

  2 comments for “Baseball Hall of Fame campaign leads Minnesota teen across country

  1. August 14, 2015 at 8:52 pm

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