Rookie Card Year: 1958
Investment Rating: 7.0
Roger Maris combined power hitting and strong fielding to have a successful 12-year MLB career. Perhaps most famous for breaking Babe Ruth's single-season home run record, Maris is not currently in the Hall of Fame, and is considered by many to be one of the bigger HOF snubs in baseball's history. Roger Maris cards and memorabilia maintain strong values, especially his autographed options and could be in line for a nice bump if he ever is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Although he played for four teams during his career, Maris spent his prime years and the bulk of his career as a member of the New York Yankees. He also played for the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. Roger Maris was a seven-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion. He was named the AL MVP in back-to-back seasons (1960,1961), and was also the AL RBI champion during both seasons. In 1961, Maris totaled 61 home runs on his way to breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record, which had stood since 1927. A 2001 HBO movie, 61*, told the tale of his historic season, covering the competition between Maris and his teammate, Mickey Mantle, as well the incredible stress the chase caused Maris.
As for why he is not in the Hall of Fame, critics point to his relatively short career, low batting average (career .260), and the fact that he was was not even the best outfield player on his own team. Even during Maris' MVP seasons, Mickey Mantle was considered the better player by many. The consensus is that Maris will be inducted eventually, but that remains to be seen.
Roger Maris has only one official rookie card, which is documented below, but some of the biggest values can be found with his signed memorabilia. In 1983, Maris was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, and passed away in 1985. Therefore, his autograph is in short supply.
Roger Maris Rookie Card Checklist
Showcasing a youthful look, Roger Maris' 1958 Topps rookie card has a bright yellow-orange background. Raw and low grade versions can be found for under $100, while high grades can approach the mid-four figure range.
1962 Topps #1 Roger Maris VG G46849
1961 Topps #44 AL HR Leaders - Mickey Mantle Roger VG EX G59242
1962 Topps #1 Roger Maris VG EX G46893
1998 Topps Gold Label Home Run Race "Black" Roger Maris & Sammy Sosa
Roger Maris Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find examples of what an authentic Roger Maris autograph looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Roger Maris Cut Signature Exemplar
Roger Maris Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Roger Maris signature will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- The signature begins with an "R" that features an elongated top loop
- Next, the lowercase "o" does not normally connect and can resemble a lowercase "u"
- The circle portion of the "g" is tight and the "e-r" resembles the reverse
- The last name begins with an uncommon "M" where the beginning resembles a reverse question mark
- Like the "o" in Roger, the "a" in Maris does not connect
- From there, the "r-i-s" is legible, and the "i" is dotted
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