When some people think of prejudice or error in judgment, they think of Martin Luther King Jr. , Malcolm X, or maybe even Rodney King. When I think of prejudice, the only name that comes to my mind is Roger Maris. The way Maris was treated in New York was ridiculous.
He was treated badly because he was not a big city guy. Maris was born in Minnesota in 1934, but raised in North Dakota. Needless to say, he was not the type of guy Yankee fans were used to. Yankee fans were always very hateful to Maris. They treated Maris badly because they could not relate to him since he was a small-town guy, and did not really know how to act in a big city. The city was in love with Mickey Mantle and could not find room in their hearts for anyone else.
The harassment of Maris became so bad that he even began to receive death threats mixed in with the mail from his fans. Roger's stress began during the 1961 home run race to beat Ruth's record of sixty. With both Maris and Mantle contending to break the record, the crowd was never on Roger's side. Every time he would come to the plate he would be booed, regardless if heh it a home run or not. Maris became so frustrated during the home run race that the stress of the race itself plus the extra tension put on him by the fans caused him to become very miserable. At the age of 27, the stress and frustration caused Roger Maris to begin to lose his hair.
Why did Maris have to be so hated by Yankee fans? He did not deserve to be treated the way he was treated. Maris was hated because he was quiet and very shy. When it all comes down to it, Maris was his way because of an obvious error in judgment. In Roger's case, he goes on to break Ruth's home run record. The fans then realized tha the was not really a bad guy, and began to find room in their hearts for him as well as Mantle.