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HOME RUN CHASE


September 8, 1998


Randy Maris

Kevin Maris

Roger Maris, Jr.


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Q. Would you identify yourselves again.
ROGER MARIS, JR.: Seated at the right down here would be Richard, who is my youngest brother. And seated next to Richard would be Sandra, who is my youngest sister. And next to Sandra would be Kevin, who is right underneath me. And then next to me is my older sister, Susan. And next to her would be Randy, and I am Roger. I am the oldest boy.

Q. How emotional was this for you? Were you happy? Were you sad? Was it mixed?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: It was very emotional, as to be expected. I am still emotional right now, just sitting here right now my body is just numb. What was the rest of the question?

Q. Happy, sad, mixed?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: I am extremely happy for Mark. I think all he has done for baseball, all he has done the last three years now, hitting the home runs the way he has hit them, I couldn't be happier. For Mark to be the person that he is and to mean what he means to baseball and to the fans of America, I couldn't think of a better person to be the new home run king for a single season.

Q. Does the tribute that your father had today, even though his record was broken, make up for anything that happened in 1961?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: Today was very special, but it has been going on all year and the media has been outstanding. For what happened today, I mean, it is a feeling I wish everyone can experience for just the appreciation from the fans here today and to have Mark include us in the ceremony. That was his special day today, I mean, he is out there hitting 62 home runs, it has never been done before, it is Mark McGwire's day and moment, and for him to come over and greet our family and give us hugs and let us partake in his day the way he did was just so special. It is a moment that we will never forget.

Q. I think a lot of us feel that Roger should be in the Hall of Fame. How important is that to you with the publicity?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: It is very important to me that he gets in the Hall of Fame. I think that is the final chapter to his career that is kind of lacking. There is no doubt the wave of media that has been supporting him in 1998. I don't think that is going to do anything but help. I have said all along if he doesn't make it this year with all the media hype and Mark and Sammy and Ken Griffey, Jr., I don't remember going after the record the way they have and all the positive things that have been written and his career looked back into and brought to light, then I don't think it will ever happen.

Q. Could you tell us what Mark said to you when he came into the stands?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: Well, you know, it was such a crazy moment, such an emotional moment when he came in there, you know, I just remember him saying that you know, my dad is always going to be in his heart and he just feels like he has been there and my dad just meant so much to him.

Q. Randy, you brushed back tears on the podium, is that a tear of joy or a tear of sadness?
RANDY MARIS: A little of both. I am pretty emotional as it is anyway. I get pretty emotional over stuff like this when big events happen like this and being born in '61 had that much more meaning to me, so, you know, it was sadness, but Mark is such a great guy, such a great representative of baseball, I mean, what can you say. The guy deserved to do it.

Q. What made you sad?
RANDY MARIS: I don't know if it was sadness, but just caught up in the moment of everything, just emotion of it all, and you know, dad has held the record for the 37 years, and we never thought we would see this day come and I think that is what I was probably a little sad about.

Q. What has this extended weekend in St. Louis been like compared to what you expected when you got off the plane?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: I don't know what we really expected to begin with. I didn't know if Mark would hit a home run when we landed here in St. Louis, but to have him do what he did here in St. Louis is just outstanding. Dad played here, had a great career here, loved St. Louis and loved the fans of St. Louis and for it to happen the way it did here was very, very special. Like I said earlier, for him to include us in his moments the way he did was just pure class and that just exemplifies Mark McGwire as a person.

Q. How do you think your dad would have felt if he were still alive today?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: Well, I mean I don't think he wants his record broken. I don't think any athlete does. I think he would be happy for Mark and proud for Mark for his accomplishments. He would have been very proud of Mark as a player, but I think more so as a person because Mark McGwire is class. That pretty much explains Mark McGwire.

Q. How is your mom doing and what has her reaction been to all of this?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: I don't know what her reaction was tonight. She is in the hospital tonight, so she wasn't able to be here. I imagine her reaction is like everyone else, you know, very emotional and very touched and I think her state right now, I think she is stable and I think she is doing fine. The doctors just have to get her medication right and she will be fine.

Q. Were you surprised to see Mark jump in the stands and come to you?
ROGER MARIS, JR.: Yeah, he is a big guy to be jumping in the stands. I just didn't want to see him get hurt. That would be the saddest thing. Yeah, I mean, when he came down there and I saw him walking towards us, I kind of thought he might do that and I kind of hoped he did because I wanted to just kind of embrace him for what he did and kind of share in the moment and for him to come up there and do that, let us partake in that moment, it is outstanding and it is something we will never forget.

Q. Kevin, tell us what your father went through in 1961. His owning the record has been somewhat bittersweet. Is there any feeling of relief that your family isn't going to be associated with that bitter sweetness and is now something seemingly positive?
KEVIN MARIS: I don't think there is any sense of relief. I am not not happy that the record is gone by any means. I am very happy for Mark that he has done what he has and now that he is the new home‑run‑king I think that is outstanding. I won't be happy and it is not a good feeling to know that my dad's record is gone in that respect. But then I can turn it around and I am elated and just so happy for Mark that he has done what he has done and he fully deserves what he has accomplished. And, he is a special person and I am very, very proud that he has got what he got.

Q. When you came here 37 years later are there still wounds that needed to be healed and did today heal them?
KEVIN MARIS: I think, you know, today I think America saw Mark do what he did and I think it kind of climaxed the ending of what everybody has been looking to see and through the long walk, I think, dad had so many things brought to light and this was kind of the final chapter to everything.

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