New York Yankees star Aaron Judge launches 62nd home run, sets AL’s single-season record

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The American League has a new one-season home run king.

Aaron Judge, the star of the New York Yankees, launched his 62nd road home run of the season against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, breaking the AL record he shared with Roger Maris.

After dropping a Tim Mayza sinker into the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen last Wednesday to match Maris’ mark, Judge didn’t get a homerun last Wednesday during the Yankees’ last regular-season homestand—a three-game run. against the Baltimore Orioles. Back on the road, Judge, who had gone 2-for-9 with two basehits in two games against the Rangers through Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, took Texas pitcher Jesus Tinoco deep in the first inning of the nightcap for number 62 to reach.

The Yankees gathered to meet Judge at home plate after the home run, and he took off his helmet as he walked back to the dugout to thank the fans. When he took the field in the bottom of the inning, he got another standing ovation.

The ball was caught by Cory Youmans of Dallas, who was in Section 31. When asked what he was going to do with the ball while being taken away with security to have the ball verified, Youmans replied, “Good question. Didn’t think about it.”

Judge was later removed from the game and the Rangers won 3-2. The Yankees won the first game of the doubleheader, 5-4.

The record-breaking home run came three days after the 61st anniversary of the day Maris passed the legendary Babe Ruth with his 61st home run.

“[It is an] honor to have the opportunity to be associated with Maris,” Judge said Wednesday after becoming forever linked with the Yankees legend as the only players in franchise history to hit 61 home runs. “I can’t even describe it. It’s such an honor to know what Maris did in this game. Getting the chance to tie Roger Maris, that’s what you dream of.”

Only Barry Bonds (73), Mark McGwire (70, 65) and Sammy Sosa (66, 64, 63) are ahead of Judge on MLB’s single-season home run list. But while Judge holds the AL record, Maris’ son, Roger Maris Jr., said this week that he believes Judge should be recognized as the true homerun king.

Maris’ mark was the all-time MLB record, until McGwire passed it by turning 70 in 1998. Bonds surpassed McGwire in 2001, with baseball’s official single season record of 73 home runs. But Maris Jr. reduced the performance of the two sluggers, which achieved their performance during the so-called steroid era.

“He’s playing the game the right way,” said Maris Jr. earlier this week on Judge. “And I think it gives people a chance to look at someone who should be honored for hitting 62 home runs, and not just for a guy who hit it in the American League, but for being the true one-season home run champion.” That’s who he is. It’s 62, and I think that’s what needs to be done.”

Judge, who grew up as a Giants fan about half an hour east of San Francisco, has said he believes Bonds’ 73 home runs are the right one-season milestone.

New York manager Aaron Boone said he feels privileged to have been on the front row in baseball history.

“The history of this game is one of the calling cards,” said Boone. “The number 61. I’ve known that number all my life. I think one thing that makes our sport a little bit more special than the others is the history of it all. We do history really well. And this is a year and a season where we’re in the middle of one of those magical historic moments, and that’s tied to a number. And that’s pretty neat.”

The Yankees enter the postseason as No. 2 in the American League. They will close the regular season in Texas on Wednesday.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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