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A.P. Names Maris Male Athlete of the Year

Dec. 15, 1961 - Roger Maris, baseball’s home run king, normally quiet and unemotional, appeared deeply moved today when told he had been named The Associated Press male athlete of the year for 1961. “It’s got to mean a lot when they rank you ahead of every athlete in the world,” he said. “There are some mighty good ones on that list.” The Yankee slugger, who hit 61 homers, was the overwhelming choice in the voting by 253 sportswriters in the annual A.P. poll. Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers, the NFL’s leading scorer, was second. He was followed by Warren Spahn, the ace left-hander of the Milwaukee Braves; Ernie Davis, all-America halfback from Syracuse; and Mickey Mantle, Maris’s home run partner.

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