The moment that New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the year against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night capped a late stretch of breathtaking drama that only once in a generation can create generational aspirations. Judge passed Roger Maris for the most home runs hit in a season by an American League player. Maris had previously held the record.
The home run record has been revered for a very long time because it accurately measures the most straightforward displays of strength in baseball, which even the unpredictable swings and unforeseeable factors of the sport are unable to thwart. The home run that Judge hit on Tuesday earned him the complicated, unofficial, and uncomfortable title of being the player with the most single-season home runs who did not play baseball during the steroid era of the game.
Only three players have ever hit more than 62 home runs in a single season: the record holder, Barry Bonds (73), Mark McGwire (70 and 65), and Sammy Sosa (66, 64, and 63). The Major League Baseball (MLB) did not conduct as many rigorous tests for performance-enhancing drugs back when any of the three played in the league.
Therefore, Judge, who wears the legendary number 99, has established himself as the new modern prototype, the new home run hero for the new era, and the most recent in a long line of legendary Yankees players. Judge demonstrated that he is capable of withstanding everything that the city of New York can throw at its most valuable athletes, just like all of the legendary Yankees players who came before him. But by the time the Yankees’ final series of the season began, even the calm 30-year-old, who is known for having a team-first attitude that does not wax and wane with his performance, had begun to feel the strain of his pursuit.
The majority of the time, cameras have no trouble catching a judge’s grin on camera. But as each pitch went by, his frown deepened a little bit more, and his smiles became fewer and further between. He appeared to have an endless supply of time for a very long time. Suddenly he didn’t.
Judge told reporters on Tuesday night that it was a “huge relief” for him. “I think it’s safe for everyone to take a seat and watch the rest of the game now.”
When Judge hit his 60th home run on September 20, he still had enough at-bats left to catch and pass Maris, whose family had begun following him from town to town. Maris’ record stood until Judge hit his 60th home run. For several days, the crowd went completely silent whenever Judge was hit by a pitch from a pitcher because he had gone seven games without hitting number one.
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This past weekend, the Yankees battled the elements as they competed in their final home series of the regular season, knowing full well that they had already clinched their division title. In spite of the fact that there was a large crowd in attendance, Judge was intentionally walked five times over the course of three games, while the Baltimore Orioles struck him out six times.
Therefore, it was up to Judge to continue his investigation in Texas. The Maris family headed back to their house. The right-handed batter managed only one hit in the game played on Monday night and one hit in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Judge, who is normally restricted to playing only one game of a doubleheader for a team that has clinched a first-round bye on the penultimate day of the season, will play both games because he did not hit a home run in the first game, as was stated by Manager Aaron Boone earlier in the day to the reporters.
He didn’t, and as a result, the paid attendance for the night game at Globe Life Field was the highest it had ever been in the stadium’s brief history. The 38,832 fans who showed up to watch Texas beat Oklahoma by a score of 3-2 were not there to cheer off yet another disappointing season for the Rangers. They went to see Judge at that location.
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In the second game, he had the highest score, 61. He showed a fleeting smile as he rounded first base, but quickly returned to the serious demeanour that he has made his trademark. And as his teammates ran up to meet him at home plate, Judge made it a point to give each of them a bear hug.
“When I look up at home, I look right into our dugout so I can see all the guys just sitting on the top step waiting for this to happen,” Judge said. “When I look up at the ballpark, I look right into our dugout.” They were behind me on the road, which is why I didn’t see the people over the age of 40 who were sitting in the ditch here. What’s most important to me is being able to congratulate each and every one of them in person, as well as finally getting to see them walk out onto the field.
Judge went back into the field for the bottom half of the second inning after getting another at-bat in the second inning, but this time he struck out. After that, Boone made the decision to replace him, which was met with raucous applause from the crowd in Texas.
As of Tuesday, Judge was in first place in the American League for home runs and RBI, and his batting average was only one point lower than that of another player in the AL, Luis Arraez of Minnesota. He is not only having one of the best offensive seasons in terms of overall production in the history of baseball, but he is also hitting for power at a rate that is unmatched by anyone else in the sport. Judge has 62 home runs to his name. Tuesday was the turn for the next player, who had 46. It has been decades since Babe Ruth played, but the gap between first and second place has never been this large. Judge even has a shot at becoming the first player in the American League to win the Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers in 2012, and only the second player to do so since the great Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
According to Judge, “getting the opportunity to have my name next to someone as great as Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, and those guys is incredible.”
On the other hand, Ruth, Maris, Yastrzemski, and the others never had to face pitches like Judge does on a consistent basis. He is able to compile these numbers despite the fact that the offence, at least as measured by batting average, is at an all-time low, that pitchers are throwing harder than they ever have before, and that he is doing all of this in a city that scrutinises his every move.
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He is putting them together just weeks before he will become a free agent for the first time, and this decision comes after he rejected a contract offer worth more than $200 million several months ago. And he does all of this for a struggling Yankees team that has been torn apart by injuries, and Judge has almost single-handedly held the offence together so that the Yankees can maintain their lead in the American League East. She just won the division title in Toronto, and the celebration that followed in late September did nothing to dampen the excitement of a superstar or a fan base that was waiting for something much rarer.
In contrast to Maris and Ruth, Judge made history a generation after widespread use of drugs that have since been made illegal, which muddled the record for home runs. When McGwire broke Maris’ record by hitting 70 home runs in 1998, he later admitted to using steroids to achieve this feat. Bonds then followed up with 73 home runs in 2001 to become the single-season record holder, despite the fact that his legacy is so tainted that it has prevented him from being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Roger Maris Jr., the son of Maris, was there to watch his father pursue Judge. Following the ruling of Judge Maris with No.
When he turned 62, he became the person he is today, according to what he said. “Indeed, I believe that ought to take place. I believe that baseball should take a look at the records, and I believe that baseball should take some action.
Not only is Judge accumulating his numbers at the fastest rate in the history of Major League Baseball, but he is doing so in the context of the sport’s most stringent policy regarding drug testing. According to what he has said, he believes that Barry Bonds’ 73 is the record; to put it another way, 62 is something, but it is not the whole thing. However, the fact that he surpassed the number that no one had surpassed for more than 30 years prior to the steroid era means that he is now an irreplaceable part of the conversation about the greatest single-season performances of all time – just in time for him to hit the free agent market.
Derek Jeter, the only other Yankee to have his name written so emphatically in Yankees history, tweeted, “Congratulations to @TheJudge44 on 62!” “The playoffs are up next!!!”
After all, championships are the yardstick by which careers are judged in the Bronx. They are owned by Ruth and Maris. The judge will have a second opportunity to take home the prize.