All rise for Aaron Judge. A formidable presence at 6’7” and 282 lbs., Judge is an MLB superhero. During his pro baseball career, he’s racked up a long list of impressive statistics, a testament to his reputation as a super slugger for the Yankees.
Show Me the Money
It came as a shock when he turned down a $213+ million contract that would extend his Yankees run for another 7 years. But insiders speculate that he has his sights set on breaking another record of the cha-ching variety by letting his contract run out and then landing an even bigger contract with another team. Experts and fans believe he’s worth the money and more as one of the rare baseball legends making the game exciting.
62 Home Runs and Counting
On September 18, Judge hit his 58th and 59th home runs. The following Tuesday, he hit his 60th home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates, putting him only one hit from tying Roger Maris’ true single-season record. Roger Maris’ record was unbroken for 37 years at 61 home runs until Sammy Sosa beat him with 66 in 1998 followed by Mark McGuire’s 70 the same year, and Bonds’ 73 in 2001. Then, it was an epic moment in baseball history when Judge hit his 62nd home run to break the decades-long record of Roger Maris.
Roid Rage: Is Aaron Judge the Real Home Run Champ?
Fans could argue for hours over the steroids controversy and whether McGuire, Sosa, and Bonds’ records shouldn’t be counted, although these notorious players remain listed in the Hall of Fame. Regardless of where fans stand on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs, Aaron Judge is on track to be the first to break the ‘clean’ home run record in a single season and possibly even the tarnished ones. It might be wishful thinking for Judge to beat Bonds’ 73 with 17 home runs at the end of the season but it isn’t impossible.
Aaron Judge – Baseball God
With his impressive career, breaking at least one of the home run records is a safe bet for this future Hall of Famer. Here’s a snapshot of his achievements in seven seasons as Yankee’s right fielder:
- 220 career home runs
- 4x All-Star
- 2017 Rookie of the Year
Judge has some competition, but the players lag behind considerably; they would need a Field of Dreams-level miracle to catch up. The closest in the running is Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies with 35 home runs this season. Another Hall of Famer, Cardinals legend Albert Pujols made history on September 11 when hit his 697th career home run, positioning him in 4th place above Alex Rodriguez, and then reaching 700 to tie with Babe Ruth. But for single-season home runs, this certifiable baseball god is still far away from beating Judge this year.
Aaron Doesn’t Judge
While Judge isn’t suspected of steroid use, he isn’t a baseball purist either. In fact, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he said his goal is to break the 61-record of Roger Maris and Barry Bonds’ 73 hits, which he believes deserves recognition. “…I stayed up late watching him do it. That’s the record. No one can take that from him.” No one can ever really know if a player is taking steroids or not, but many speculate that Judge must be clean, otherwise he would have surpassed Bonds by now.
As he carries the Yankees into the postseason, baseball fans have their eye on his single-season home run record, and he’s expected to hit it out of the park with an estimated 65 (or more) for the 2022 season.
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