In recognition of Roger Maris’ record-setting 1961 season, Topps made the Yankees slugger the lead-off hitter in its 1962 baseball card set.
The wood-paneled, No. 1 card depicting Maris following through near a batting cage in 1961 is quite affordable, with a recent scan of eBay showing a price range of $10 to $64, depending on condition. That same set also devoted a four-photo, sequence card of Maris blasting his 61st homer. The Topps No. 313 was available for as low as $5 and as high as $1,200 for an authenticated version signed by Maris.
After Maris belted a record 61 home runs in 1961 to surpass Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, other souvenirs from the 1961 season also became valuable pieces of memorabilia.
The Aug. 18, 1961 issue of Life magazine featuring the M&M boys — Maris and Mickey Mantle — standing in front of a picture of Babe Ruth was recently being offered for as low as $35 and as high as $75.
Two baseballs, bearing authenticated signatures of Mantle and Maris, were going for $4,495 and $25,000, respectively.
If you are looking for something different, you could get photographs signed by Tracy Stallard, the Boston Red Sox pitcher who served up Maris record-breaking blast, for $45. It shows a dejected Stallard on the mound as Maris rounds first.
Nationally honored journalist Scott Pitoniak is the author of more than 25 books, including the recently published, “Remembrances of Swings Past: A Lifetime of Baseball Stories,” available in paperback and Kindle at amazon.com.