When he was just another good ballplayer the crowd did not care—if it knew—that he was a redneck. When he went after Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in one season and broke it, things changed. He was automatically a hero. What the crowd wants first in a hero is a man who can do things, and Maris certainly could do things. What it wants next is a hero with poise and self-assurance, someone it can like as well as admire. Admiration of a hero is essentially admiration of self. When the hero blows his success, when he behaves as stupidly and uncertainly as we might behave ourselves, then self-admiration turns to self-hatred, the harshest form of hate. When Maris, successor to Ruth, showed that he didn't know how to handle the praise and the adulation, he was the personification of the inadequate self, the man who thinks of what he should have said the day after he should have said it. That is how Roger Maris let everyone down—as a hero he was a grievous disappointment—and that is why he is booed.