Meet the Hickok Belt Award® Winners

Past Hickok Belt Award ® winners are truly a select group – a veritable who’s who of sports icons. The award has celebrated the incredible careers of leading figures throughout sports. With names like Ali, Mantle, Brown, Namath, Palmer, Phelps and James it is an impressive list to be sure. To learn more about the amazing athletes behind the award including video highlights of their accomplishments, please enjoy the listings below.


Roger Maris (1961)

A Minnesota native who grew up in North Dakota, Maris was a superb all-around athlete who turned down a football scholarship from the University of Oklahoma to play professional baseball. His greatest seasons occurred after the Kansas City Athletics traded him to the New York Yankees in 1959. With a left-handed swing tailor-made for the short right field fence at Yankee Stadium, Maris clubbed one hundred home runs in his first two seasons in the Bronx, including sixty-one in ’61 to break the hallowed baseball record established by Babe Ruth thirty-four seasons earlier. After retiring from the big leagues in 1968 with 275 homers and a .260 batting average, Maris owned and operated a successful Budweiser distributorship in Gainesville, Florida, and coached baseball at Oak Hill High School. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1983 and died two years later at age fifty-one.

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Pitoniak, Scott, Jewel of the Sports World: The Story of the Hickok Belt Award, Rochester New York: RIT Press, Copyright © 2010