NEW YORK – Inside the dugout after blasting the 60th home run of his incredible season, Aaron Judge heard the crowd’s plea to come out for a bow.
At first, he wasn’t answering.
“I really didn’t want to do it,’’ Judge said. “We’re losing. It’s a solo shot.’’
In a reluctant fashion that echoed Roger Maris after his record-setting 61st homer in 1961, Judge popped out for a moment and gave a little wave with his helmet.
After Judge had matched Babe Ruth’s 60-homer season of 1927 and moved one away from Maris’ single-season franchise and AL record, “It felt like something special was going to happen,’’ said Nestor Cortes.
“And it did.’’
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 21, 2022
AARON JUDGE HOME RUN WATCH: Tracking the Yankees slugger in 2022
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Aaron Judge makes home run history
In the Yankees' 147th game of the year, Judge became the third Yankee to reach the 60-homer mark.
He's just the sixth MLB player with at least 60 homers in a season, accomplished nine times - topped by Barry Bonds' record 73 homers in 2001 and Mark McGwire's 70 in 1998.
Judge's solo shot came in the ninth inning, off Pittsburgh Pirates' right-hander Wil Crowe, cutting the Pirates' lead to 8-5 on a night when the Yankees' slugging leadoff hitter grounded out twice, walked and struck out in his four previous plate appearances.
And that leadoff clout by Judge - estimated to have traveled 430 feet - started an incredible rally.
Giancarlo Stanton finished it with a walk-off grand slam, sending the Yankees to a 9-8 victory.
It was Stanton's first homer since Sept. 11, during a period where he was in a 2-for-25 slide with 15 strikeouts - including three on Tuesday night.
“I would imagine this week is going to be pretty electric at the Stadium,’’ said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, right before the six-game homestand began.
And with Judge also aiming for an AL Triple Crown, “I’ve got to believe it’s right there, on the short list of (being) one of the all-time best seasons,’’ Boone said. “(He’s) not just a slugging DH.’’
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Aaron Judge hits home run No. 60, one away from Roger Maris