When I spoke with Danny Peary (that’s pronounced “PERRY,” as in Gaylord) recently about his new biography, Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero, I expressed surprise over the timing of his book, co-written with Tom Clavin. Then he made me feel ashamed I didn’t remember that 2010 is the 50th anniversary of Maris’ joining the Yankees. Furthermore, next year — the 50th marking of his 61-homer season — just in time for the paperback edition.
Peary and Clavin are passionate about their subject. whether you agree that Maris belongs in the Hall of Fame or not (the authors do, I don’t), their book is a good insight into Maris and proves that you’re a person a lot longer than you’re a professional ballplayer. Maris was a man of principle, and like all of us had his brighter and darker moments and their books tells it straight.
I had a chance to chat with Peary a few weeks back. Here’s the overdue interview, in two parts.