Originally created 09/07/98

Maris' widow becomes ill before game



ST. LOUIS -- Roger Maris' widow was hospitalized Sunday with an irregular heartbeat just hours before she was to watch Mark McGwire try to break her husband's home-run record.

Patricia Maris was in satisfactory condition at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, said Patrick Courtney, a spokesman for major league baseball.

"I think it's just exhaustion," son Randy Maris said. "The last three or four months, a lot has been going on with all this attention."

The 62-year-old Mrs. Maris flew to St. Louis from Gainesville, Fla., with her four sons and two daughters for the Cardinals-Reds game. She was taken to the hospital shortly after arriving at Lambert Airport.

The Maris children arrived at Busch Stadium in time for the start of the game. McGwire hit his 60th home run Saturday, tying Babe Ruth and pulling within one of the record Roger Maris set in 1961. He did not hit one Sunday.