Maris’ family following Judge on HR pursuit

NEW YORK — Kevin Maris, the son of the late Yankees slugger Roger Maris, said recently he was having an “awesome time” at Yankee Stadium watching the home run chase involving Aaron Judge, who was one home run shy of tying the American League record set by Maris in 1961 entering Sunday’s game.

Kevin, along with his siblings Roger Jr., Richard and Sandra, has been watching the home run chase in a luxury suite at the stadium since Wednesday.

“It’s an awesome time to come back to Yankee Stadium where Dad played his career and had such great success hitting 61 home runs. It’s always a real treat for our family to come back,” Kevin said via telephone. “The Steinbrenner family have been always nice to Dad. They have taken care of us as a family very well. For them to invite us up [to]experience this spectacular event is a real treat for us.”

Kevin Maris said they will most likely follow Judge to Toronto if he doesn’t hit the record-setting home run on Sunday against the Red Sox. The Yankees play the Blue Jays for three games starting Monday night.

“We are going to try to stay until he breaks the record,” Kevin said. “We would like to see the chase and the challenge. Hopefully, we’ll be around.”

Besides hitting home runs, Judge is having a season for the ages with a strong chance to win the Triple Crown. Entering Sunday’s action, Judge leads the American League in home runs (60) and RBIs (128) and is second behind Xander Bogaerts in batting average (.314).

Kevin Maris has now watched Judge play in person the last four games, and he is impressed by what he has seen from the Yankees outfielder.

“[Judge] is an impressive specimen,” Maris said. “To be that big in a baseball uniform, he is a unique player. I haven’t had a chance to meet him yet, but hopefully, when it’s all said and done, we’ll have a chance to sit down, talk to him and get his thoughts on the whole chase.”

With the Judge chasing the home run record, it means Roger Maris is back in the news, which pleases Kevin Maris.

“Dad brought a lot to the game,” Kevin said. “One thing Dad always said, he brought a lot of new generations of people [to the game of baseball]— people that didn’t care about baseball. They would walk on the street, [see my father and say], ‘Man I was never a baseball fan, but what you went through in ‘61 and hit 61 [home runs], it just brought me to the game.’ That meant a lot to Dad. For it to happen again, it’s neat to see [my father]brought up to the forefront of a new generation.”