Aaron Judge sets AL home run record: Yankees slugger hits No. 62 to pass Roger Maris and break single-season record

There’s a new single-season home run king in the American League. On Tuesday night, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of 2022, breaking a tie with Roger Maris.

Maris of course hit 61 homers with the 1961 Yankees.

Judge hit his 62nd homer against Texas Rangers right-hander Jesus Tinoco in the first inning of Game 2 of their doubleheader at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Here comes the explosion of the judge’s milestone:

“It’s an incredible honor to be blessed to be associated with one of the great Yankees, one of the greats in baseball,” Judge told MLB.com after hitting his 61st home run. “To be enshrined with them forever, words can’t describe it. That’s one thing that’s so special about the Yankee organization, all the guys who came before us and paved the way, played the game in the right way.”

Judge hit his 61st home run to tie Maris last Wednesday and he went 3 for 17 with five walks and seven strikeouts in the five games between numbers 61 and 62. That includes 1 for 5 in Game 1 of the Tuesday’s double, in which the judge slammed his helmet in the dugout in frustration after popping a dangling slider.

The #62 ball landed in Section 31, Row 1, Seat 3, and the fan who caught it was ushered by security to a safe location where he could be authenticated by MLB. It’s unclear if the ball will go to the Yankees and the judge, or something else.

Learn more about Judge becoming the AL’s single-season home run king.

Mom was there (but not Maris Jr.)

Judge’s mother, Patty, has attended every Yankees game since her son hit his 59th home run on Sept. 18. She moved from Yankee Stadium to Toronto, back to Yankee Stadium, then to Texas for this final regular season series. And when Judge hit the scoring home run on Tuesday, his mother was left speechless.

Not at the ballpark on Tuesday: Predecessor’s son Roger Maris Jr. didn’t travel to Texas to watch the judge chase his 62nd homer, despite attending New York’s previous 12 games as the judge chased circuits No. 60 and 61 (and 62). For what it’s worth, Maris Jr. was quick to say he would consider the judge the king of the ‘clean’ home run once he reached No. 62.

“I think (the judge breaks the record) means a lot not just to me, but to a lot of people,” Maris Jr. said Judge hit his 61st home run. “He’s clean, he’s a Yankee, he plays the game the right way. I think he gives people a chance to watch someone who should be revered for hitting 62 home runs and not just as a guy. who did it in the American League. He should be revered for being the true one-season home run champion. That’s really who he is if he hits 62 and I think that’s what has to happen. I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.”

The new AL home run standings

As noted, Judge has now hit more home runs than any player in the American League’s 122-year history. Here’s the AL’s new single-season home run standings:

  1. Aaron Judge, Yankees 2022: 62 (and counting)
  2. Roger Maris, 1961 Yankees: 61
  3. Babe Ruth, 1927 Yankees: 60
  4. Babe Ruth, 1921 Yankees: 59
  5. Hank Greenberg, 1938 Tigers: 58
  6. Jimmie Foxx, 1932 Athletics: 58

Only Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1998 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001 and 63 in 1999) have homered more in a season than Judge, and they have all played in the National League.

As for 2022, Judge is touring the field in circuits. Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber is a distant second in baseball with 46 homers. No player has led baseball by as many as 16 homers since 1932, when Foxx hit 58 and Ruth was second with 41. Simply put, this is one of the most dominant homer seasons ever. of sports history.

The Triple Crown watch

Oh by the way, Judge is also chasing a triple crown, and the focus is now shifting there with the No. 62 on the sidelines. Judge has massive runs in home runs and RBI, as you’d expect. He is chasing Twins infielder Luis Arraez for the batting tile. Here’s the batting race coming into play on Tuesday:

  1. Luis Arraez, twins: .315
  2. Aaron Judge, Yankees: .311
  3. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox: .305
  4. Several tied at .304

Catching Arraez will be a real challenge with only one game left in the regular season. The mere fact that Judge is in contention for the Triple Crown – that he is hitting well over .300 while hitting over 60 homers – is remarkable. Miguel Cabrera won baseball’s last Triple Crown in 2012.

No. 63?

The judge was removed from Tuesday’s game late in the second inning. He had started 55 straight games, a Ripkenian streak by Yankees standards and their load management approach, and manager Aaron Boone recently said he hoped to give Judge a day off before the end of the season. He didn’t even commit to playing him in Game 2 of the doubleheader before Judge landed in the lineup.

The Yankees still have a game to play, however, and Judge could increase his homer total in the season finale on Wednesday. The Rangers are expected to start right-hander Glenn Otto, a former Yankees prospect who went to Texas as part of the Joey Gallo trade, in Wednesday’s game. Judge is 0 for 3 against Otto in his career.

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