Eight days ago, Aaron Judge blasted his 60th home run of the season, becoming the first Major League Baseball player to reach that number since 2001 and moving one home run away from tying Roger Maris’ mark for the American League record (which is seventh overall on the MLB single season record book).
Since then, every at-bat from Judge has been a big deal, with networks like ESPN cutting in to other coverage to show his at-bats live waiting for his 61st home run. A week of waiting amid one of Judge’s longest home run droughts of the season finally provided that moment on Wednesday night when Judge broke a 3-3 tie in Toronto with a two-run blast to left center off of Tim Mayza in the seventh inning.
It was a no-doubter off the bat from Judge, who now can avoid the questions of when he’ll hit another home run — while also coming with the benefit of being a very important home run for the Yankees in a tie game late. He now moves into a tie with Maris, 61 years after the Yankee great hit his 61st home run in 1961 — for those who like numerology. Judge has a chance to climb a bit further up the list as well, with Sammy Sosa’s 63 and 64 home run seasons from 1999 and 2001 being in play as he could very realistically move into the top-5 all-time, although Barry Bonds’ 73 figure will almost assuredly remain untouched.
As for the ball itself, those hoping to catch their lottery ticket fell short when three grown men with gloves in the front row all missed the ball as it caromed just below the railing in front of them.