Aaron Judge has made it to the MLB record books. He hit his 62nd home run of the season against Jesus Tinoco, a Texas Ranger pitcher. He topped Roger Maris, who has held the record for the biggest number of home runs in one season.
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Judge is not the only athlete in the history of the American League to achieve the staggering number of home runs. He joins a select group of four men who have hit at least 62 home runs in a season. Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds have all been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Their reported usage of steroids has raised questions about whether their totals are accurate. Many people believe that Judge holds the actual single-season record because he didn’t get busted on steroids like someone else we know of.
Roger Maris Jr. said: “He’s clean, he’s a Yankee, he plays the game the right way. I think it 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, said Fox News.
“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. I think baseball needs to look at the records, and I think baseball should do something.”
In contrast, Judge states that Bonds’ “73 (from 2001) is the record. He recognized that there was a lot of pressure to reach 61, though. After ending a seven-game homerless run, Judge said there was certainly some relief and added: “You try not to think about it, but it creeps into your head.”
The number 61 has also taken on a special meaning in Yankees and baseball mythology. Maris hit his 61st home run in the 161st game of his career in 1961, and Judge surpassed the mark 61 years later in the 161st game of the Yankees’ season. Judge is wearing the number 99, another numerical reference. Maris wore a 9.
Gerrit Cole struck out his 249th hitter of the season in the bottom half of the first, creating another piece of Yankees history. That beat the previous franchise record of 248, which Ron Guidry established in 1978.
The 30-year-old is expected to sign with another team as a free agent this summer after declining the Yankees’ eight-year, $230.5 million offer at the start of the current campaign. He has had one of the best offensive seasons in baseball history and has vaulted to the top of the AL MVP Award race since turning down the deal.