The home run brought the Yankees within three after a rough night for the New York bullpen, and the rest of the lineup stepped up after him. Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres and Josh Donaldson reached against Pirates closer Wil Crowe and Giancarlo Stanton followed with a walk-off grand slam.
Judge is now just one deep ball shy of tying fellow New York Yankees slugger Roger Maris’ American League record for homers in a season, 61. Judge is just the sixth player in MLB history to crush 60 homers in a season. No one has reached this threshold since Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa in 2001.
In what could only be a side story for Judge this year, he also took over the American League lead in batting average, putting him in position to win the Triple Crown.
What home run records are Aaron Judge chasing?
While Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire trounced Maris’ longstanding record in their late ’90s, early 2000s slugfests, they all did so in the National League (and under a cloud of performance-enhancing drug suspicion). The Yankees great’s mark, 61, still rules in the AL.
In fact, the top AL home run seasons are mostly held by the likes of Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg. Judge’s 2022 is now tied for fourth. Only Maris and Ruth have hit more. Prior to Judge, the closest any modern player had come to beating Maris was Alex Rodriguez’s 57-homer campaign for the 2002 Texas Rangers.
Judge joins Maris and Ruth as the only Yankees to log 60-homer seasons.
Maris’ son thinks 61 is the ‘real record.’ Judge views Bonds’ 73 as the mark
The Maris family was deeply involved in the 1998 home run chase that saw 61 fall for the first time. They were on hand to witness Mark McGwire hit No. 62. When McGwire’s use of performance-enhancing drugs was reported, the former Cardinals slugger reportedly called the Maris’ widow to apologize.
Kevin Maris, Roger’s second son, told New York Magazine that he would be “excited” for Aaron Judge if he eclipses his father’s legendary 1961 season. He also waded into the now decades-old argument over whether the…