He’s done it. In the 7th inning of Wednesday’s game against American League East rival Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the season.
That homer puts him into a tie with Yankees legend Roger Maris for the most home runs hit in a single season in American League history. The pair are one ahead of another Yankees legend, Babe Ruth. Judge has seven more games left to get No. 62 and the AL record all to himself.
This is just the latest accomplishment in Judge’s tremendous season. He’s accumulated nearly 11 WAR according to Fangraphs, has been more than twice as valuable as a league-average hitter and has even added double digit stolen bases. He leads the AL in nearly every major hitting category, including on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, walks, among others.
But the most fascinating part of his season has been the chase to set home run records, reaching the same remarkable heights as previous sluggers despite the significantly deadened ball and a pitching-dominated era.
With Judge one away from breaking Maris’s record, OutKick debated what would be worth getting in return for the fan who catches his historic home run. Sadly, it appears no fan caught the historic 61st ball.
If there had been any doubts, Judge cemented his case to be the winner of the 2022 AL MVP award. He has a substantial edge over Angels two-way star, Shohei Ohtani.
More History Coming For Aaron Judge?
Judge recently took the lead in batting average among American League batters. Far and away the league’s leader in HR and RBI, a batting title would mean a Triple Crown for Judge. That adds yet another piece of intrigue to the last few weeks of the Yankees season.
No hitter has won the Triple Crown since 2012 when Miguel Cabrera did it for the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees have had two Triple Crown winners in team history. Legends Mickey Mantle (1956) and Lou Gehrig (1934) both accomplished the feat.
Now, we wait and wonder. Which record is next? And will Judge hit 62 … or more?
The Yankees are off Thursday, then return home for a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees finish the season with a four-game series at the Texas Rangers Oct. 3-5.