In the book, “Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero” by Tom Clavin and Danny Peary, chapter one opens up with a story about how Bob Dylan became a fan of Maris during his 1961 home run chase.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“Among those rooting for Roger Maris as he closed in on Babe Ruth’s record in September of 1961 was a folksinger whose nascent career took off that month in New York City thanks to a rave in the Times and his first studio work. Although he wasn’t much of a sports fan, Bob Dylan felt pride when he learned that the ballplayer making national headlines also hailed from Hibbing, Minnesota.”
“Dylan was born in Duluth and didn’t arrive in Hibbing until he was seven and had nothing good to say or sing about it after he left and didn’t look back. So it’s ironic that he became the town’s favorite son, while Maris, who was born in Hibbing, was consigned to outsider status. The reason is that Dylan at least acknowledged he was from there. “It still burns me up that Roger claimed he was born in Fargo, North Dakota,” says Bill Starcevic, his childhood playmate in Minnesota. Roger didn’t care if the record books or trading cards got his birthplace wrong or if no one knew he’d changed his name to Maris from Aras in 1954, infuriating the many Marases of Hibbing. IF he thought something was trivial–or personal–he was surprised when others made a big deal of it.”