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Maris Gets 61st Home-Run Ball Back in Sacramento

Nov. 4, 1961 - Roger Maris today got back the ball he hit for his 61st home run last season, but he avoided a red-carpet welcome planned for him by a local Sacramento businessman. Sam Gordon, a restaurant owner, bought the baseball from Sal Durante, who recovered it at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1. Gordon paid Durante $5,000 for the ball. He also paid for a honeymoon trip for Durante and his bride. Gordon also paid for Maris’s round-trip airplane fare from Kansas City. He had arranged for a police escort of an open-car parade into Sacramento. Maris, however, landed in San Francisco and drove from there by auto. “Glad to know you, sir,” said Maris before Gordon handed him the ball. “Thank you very much.”


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