Other Resources

Free at West Acres Mall

Roger Maris sign
Photo of Roger Maris Museum sign

Roger Maris, famous for his 61 home runs in 1961, was one of Fargo's most famous native sons. He was a well-rounded athlete starting with basketball while in grade school. In high school he played football, basketball and track. During the summers he played baseball for the Fargo American Legion team. He was excellent at baseball and football (once returning four kickoffs for touchdowns in one game).

Photo of locker room and theatre
A recreation of Maris' Yankee locker next to theatre entrance
(Note: the 61 banners overhead)

After signing a bonus contract with the Cleveland Indians, Roger was assigned to their Class C farm club in Fargo: the Fargo-Moorhead Twins of the old Northern League. His first season was outstanding and he was named "Rookie of the Year" while helping lead the F-M Twins to the 1953 Northern League Championship.

He continued a successful career and became most famous for breaking Babe Ruth's single season home run record with 61 homers in 1961. "61 in '61" was part of the "logo" for Roger and the museum.

Roger Maris' Achievements include:

All of these awards and many, many more are on display in the Roger Maris Museum. The Roger Maris Museum was officially dedicated June 23, 1984 as a series of display cases in the West Acres Mall. A handful of "souvenirs" are sold in one of the sporting goods shops in the mall.

Photo of locker room and theatre
Some of Roger's bats and awards

In 2003 a major rennovation changed the character of the display to focus more on Roger and improve on what was a somewhat dated display. Today the display cases are new and very attractive. A series of numbered banners runs the length of the display counting to 61 at the center with a timeline of Roger's life and career over that.

His entire career is now more prominently featured with samples of his jerseys going all the way back to his time in the minors with the F-M Twins. All of this presented in beautiful woodwork styled after Yankee Stadium's famous arched rooftop edges. All of this includes nods to other memories of Roger including a poster for the HBO movie 61*.

Instead of a video tape playing endlessly a new small theatre was added with seats from Yankee Stadiumwith a more complete story (than simply the countdown of his homers). Also added is a replica of Roger's Yankee's '61 locker and his Yankee Stadium monument.

The Roger Maris Museum is on the east end of the West Acres Mall (13th Ave. South; Exit 64 on I-29).

Admission is FREE during regular store hours.

Roger Maris Museum ('84-'03)

Roger Maris 61 in '61
Photo of 1953 Northern League champions banner
The 1953 Northern League championship banner
orginally part of the Roger Maris Museum

If there is anything that is sad about such a major and attractive remodeling of the Maris Museum, it's that much of the Northern League history that was on display is now gone. The photo below shows the 1953 Northern League championship banner which was prominently displayed in the old configuration. Now the only place where you can see such a banner is in Winnipeg at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (where they have the pennant for the '57 champion Goldeyes).

Roger Maris Museum display case
Original case and display

Roger Maris Gravesite

Photo of Roger Maris grave marker
Roger Maris grave site

Roger Maris died December 14, 1985 at age 51.

He is buried in Fargo in the Holy Cross Cemetery on 32nd Avenue North and University Drive east of Hector Airport. This is approximate 1 mile (almost exactly due) north of Newman Outdoor field.

Directions from the Newman Outdoor Field:

  1. North on Albrecht Avenue to 19th Ave No.
  2. East on 19th Ave. No. to University Dr.
  3. Left onto University Dr.
  4. North on University Dr. approx. 1 mile
  5. Left on 32 Ave. No.
  6. Holy Cross Cemetery is near the end of the gravel road
  7. Roger Maris' grave is in the southwest corner of the cemetery