At the annual Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament in Fargo in June, broadcaster Bob Costas made a strong case for Maris in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In taped comments that were broadcast to the tournament banquet, Costas said:
"I've said this before, so I'm not just saying this for the hometown crowd. I think the people in Cooperstown need to reopen the case of Roger Maris. There are special circumstances every now and then in any walk of life, and Roger Maris is a special circumstance. The veterans committee needs to take a look at this, even if his overall career stats don't quite measure up to the overall career stats of most Hall of Famers, Think about it this way: How could you write a history of Major League Baseball without mentioning Roger Maris prominently?
"That was true 50 years ago, that was true 40 years ago, but in the last 10 years to 12 it's even still truer still because what Roger Maris did stands as an even more remarkable achievement in light of the steroid era. His record, the legitimate record -- he is the legitimate single-season home run king just as Hank Aaron is the legitimate career home run king. His record has stood now for 50 years, and I don't see anybody approaching it without using steroids anytime soon.
So this is a mark that really continues to resonate and when you think of some of the guys who are in the Hall of Fame, no disrespect intended, there are dozens of players in the Hall of Fame who are not remotely as significant in the history of baseball as Roger Maris."
Costas cited Maris' back-to-back MVPs, playing on seven pennant winners, multiple appearances as an All Star, and being a "terrific" team player who was often overlooked for his fielding ability, his throwing arm and his base-running ability.