More than 20 years have passed since a Major League Baseball player reached or eclipsed 60 home runs in a single season … or at least that was the case until Tuesday evening. New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge entered the evening of Sept. 20 with 59 home runs and, though it took him until the ninth inning of a matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 30-year-old delivered the majestic blast that many were hoping to see.
Aaron Judge ties Babe Ruth with HR #60 pic.twitter.com/EXoTYKPDjx
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) September 21, 2022
With the home run, Judge ties Babe Ruth for the eighth-most home runs in a single season, and he has plenty of time to continue to rise on the all-time list. In fact, Judge needed only 147 games to reach 60 home runs, becoming the third-fastest player in MLB history to do so.
Aaron Judge just hit his 60th HR this season.
Doing so in 147 team games, Judge became the fastest Yankee to hit 60 HR in a season, beating out 1961 Roger Maris' 159 games and 1927 Babe Ruth's 154 games.
He is the 3rd fastest player in MLB history to 60 homeruns in a season. pic.twitter.com/oOr6vSZWJS
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 21, 2022
Though Barry Bonds’ all-time record of 73 home runs in 2001 appears to be safe, Judge is just one home run away from the American League record of 61 by Roger Maris. The four-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger recipient is also leading the league in myriad categories in addition to his jaw-dropping home run total. Judge is setting the league-wide pace in runs scored, runs batted in, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and total bases, and he almost singlehandedly carried the Yankees through a down period in the second half of the season for good measure.
Even with Shohei Ohtani’s unbelievable two-way performance, Judge is the heavy betting favorite to win MVP honors, and he is in the midst of one of the best individual seasons in recent memory. Judge now has more than a dozen games to potentially match or exceed Maris’ total, and if he does, the only names above him on the all-time list would be Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire.