New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the 2022 season on Wednesday night, and in doing so tied Roger Morris’ American League record for most home runs in a season. Judge’s historic blast came against Blue Jays lefty reliever Tim Misa at Rogers Center in Toronto.
“It’s an incredible honor … words can’t describe,” Judge said after the game (Video), adding that hitting No. 61 was a “relief”.
Here’s Judge’s landmark home run. The ball landed in the Toronto bullpenSo the Yankees were able to retrieve it without any problems.
No. 61 snapped a seven-game home run drought for Judge, tying it for the second-longest this season. He also went seven games between homers from April 14-21. Judge’s season high was nine games without a homer from August 13-21.
It should be noted that Judge still had a chance to hit his 62nd home run on Wednesday night, even though he was struck out in the eighth inning. Judge walked 13 times between his 60th and 61st home runs — only one of the 13 was intentional — including five on Tuesday and Wednesday alone.
Judge, who now has 10 home runs this September, recently hit the ninth 60-homer season in Major League Baseball history. Similarly, Judge No. 61 ends his relationship with Babe Ruth and now ties him with Maurice for one season in Yankees franchise history.
Here’s more on Judge’s Milestone Blast.
Mom & Maurice Jr. were at home
Judge’s mother, Patty, and Roger Morris Jr. attended and sat together in the Rogers Center. Here they are when Judge hits his milestone:
Judge’s family and Maurice’s family have attended every Yankees game since he hit his 60th home run last Tuesday.
New AL leaderboard
There was some wonderful symmetry to this home run chase. Morris hit 61 home runs in 1961, no. He scored while wearing 9. After 61 years of judgement, no. He equaled Maurice’s record when he wore 99. Baseball can be pretty cool sometimes.
Here’s the new AL single-season home run leaderboard:
- Aaron Judge, 2022 Yankees: 61 and counting
- Roger Morris, 1961 Yankees: 61
- Babe Ruth, 1927 Yankees: 60
- Babe Ruth, 1921 Yankees: 59
- Jimmy Foxx, 1931 Athletics: 58
- Hank Greenberg, 1938 Tigers: 58
The Yankees still have seven regular-season games left after Wednesday, so Judge has a good chance of breaking ties with Morris and adding to his total. He has hit seven home runs in a seven-game span this season.
Judge is chasing more than Maurice’s record. He is also chasing a triple crown. He entered Wednesday’s game with a league-leading .314 batting average and pulled that down a bit with a 1-for-4 night. Here’s the updated AL batting race:
- Aaron Judge, Yankees: .31341
- Luis Ares, Twins: .31332
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox: .30867
Not surprisingly, Judge leads the league in home runs (61) and runs batted in (130) by a wide margin. The Triple Crown will come down to a batting race and can Judge stop Arrays and Bogarts in the final week of the season.
Judge is aiming to become the first Triple Crown winner since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Overall, the Triple Crown has been achieved only 12 times since the Reserve Bank became an official statistic in 1920.
Oh, and he’s going to be a free agent
Judge turned down a $213.5 million contract extension in spring training and was able to make more money this offseason. Probably more than $100 million. All indications are that Judge wants to be a Yankee and the Yankees want to keep him, but they need to get a deal done. They were unable to do so earlier this year.
The Yankees have Thursday off before returning home for a three-game weekend series with the Orioles. It was their final regular-season series at Yankee Stadium, and Judge’s last chance to hit his 62nd home run in front of the home crowd. Righty Austin Voth is expected to start Friday’s game for the Oaks. He never met a judge.
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