Pat Maris, the widow of baseball great Roger Maris, said her husband tried to be a leader his whole life.
Fargo Shanley High School acknowledged that leadership Thursday by hanging an autographed painting of Maris in a dedication at the school.
The painting, which once overlooked the old Shanley gymnasium, has been refurbished and will grace a commons area in the new Shanley school in south Fargo.
“It really means a lot to the family,” Pat Maris said.
Three generations of the Maris family – including three of Roger and Pat’s sons – attended a dedication ceremony Thursday at Shanley.
Fargo Shanley Superintendent Kyle Edgerton and Director of Development Todd Mickelson climbed separate ladders to hang the painting, which will be above the trophy case outside Grow Auditorium.
“This is something that greeted you (in the old school),” said Mickelson, a 1978 Shanley graduate. “It’s something we looked up to.”
According to Pat, the portrait was made from a photograph taken during the filming of the 1962 movie Safe at Home, which starred Maris and Mickey Mantle.
After the dedication, the Maris family took a tour of the school. Pat, a 1953 Shanley graduate, was impressed with the new facility.
“It’s beautiful,” she said while standing outside the school’s chapel.
Pat Maris said she began high school shortly after the old school was built.
“I entered the old one when it was new,” she said.
The dedication kicked off a weekend of events leading up to the Roger Maris celebrity benefit golf tournament Monday at Rose Creek Golf Course.
“I’ve taken pride in whatever way I can help out,” said Kevin Maris, the second youngest of the couple’s six children. “It’s always a special time and a special event for Fargo and the charities.”
The Fargo Post 2 American Legion baseball team will retire Maris’ No. 9 before its game against Omaha (Neb.) Northwest at 4:30 p.m. today.
“Every year we seem to hold our own and have a great crowd,” Pat said.