A UPI report on Roger Maris’ death from lymphatic cancer late in 1985 focused on his relationship to his hometown of Fargo:
Fargo residents remember Maris fondly, especially those connected with the American Legion, the training ground for the left-handed power hitter.
With no high school baseball in North Dakota, Maris played football and basketball at Shanley High School. He holds a national high school football record of having returned four kickoffs for a touchdown in a game in 1951.
Maris switched to baseball each summer with the American Legion teams. The organization now holds a Roger Maris baseball league and girls’ ponytail league in his honor.
His body will be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, where the family of his wife Patricia Ann is interred.
Gov. George Sinner, who will attend the funeral, ordered flags at half-mast Thursday.
The city commission Monday night planned to issue a resolution of condolences to the family, which has asked that memorial contributions, instead of flowers, be sent to Shanley High School. Maris is survived by his wife and six children.
Fargo now has both a museum and a cancer center dedicated to Maris. Since his death, he’s been joined by Darin Erstad, Rick Helling, and Travis Hafner as North Dakota natives who’ve gone on to impressive major league baseball careers.