Aaron Judge hits 62nd home run to set single-season AL record
Aaron Judge hits 62nd home run to set single-season AL record originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Baseball’s record book has been rewritten and now reads as follows: Aaron Judge, 62. Roger Maris, 61. Babe Ruth, 60.
Judge sits alone atop the American League’s list for home runs in a single season after hitting his 62nd on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
The leadoff blast was belted into left field, where a fan in the front row of section 31 caught the ball cleanly in his glove.
Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco surrendered the record-setting homer.
Judge hit his 61st home run last Wednesday in Toronto, matching the record set by Maris in 1961.
Judge's 62 home runs currently stands as the seventh most in a single season with the regular season ending tomorrow.
Barry Bonds holds the overall single-season record with 73 home runs in 2001, topping the 70 hit by Mark McGwire and 66 by Sammy Sosa during the home run chase of 1998. That duo combined to eclipse the 60-mark five times over a four-season stretch, with McGwire hitting 65 home runs in 1999 and Sosa crushing 64 in 2001 and 63 in 1999.
Roger Maris Jr., after Judge tied his father's record Wednesday, said Judge will be the true single-season home run king due to Bonds, McGwire and Sosa having played during baseball's Steroid Era.
"I think it means a lot and it's not just for me, I think it means a lot for a lot of people that he's clean, he's a Yankee, he plays the game the right way," Maris Jr. told reporters. "I think he gives people a chance to look at somebody 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 actual single-season home run champ. That's really who he is if he hits 62 and I think that's what needs to happen and I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball needs to do something."
Judge, who is set to become a free agent this winter, is also in contention to win the Triple Crown, which has been done just 12 times in major league history. In addition to his 26-home run lead, the 30-year-old outfielder also leads the AL with 131 RBIs and sits second with a .311 batting average.
A California native drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 draft, Judge hit 52 home runs during his rookie season in 2017. With his ensuing seasons shortened by either injury, the pandemic or MLB lockout, Judge did not reach 40 home runs in a single campaign again until this season.
Judge sat on 60 home runs for more than a week, walking 13 times during a seven-plus game drought before crushing No. 61. It took him nearly another week to hit No. 62.
He now aims for Sosa’ 63, which is sixth most in a single-season. The Yankees conclude their regular season on Wednesday at 4:05 p.m. ET in Texas against the Rangers.