NEW YORK — This has been a historic, remarkable year for Aaron Judge, a year destined to be remembered among the greatest offensive performances in baseball history. And fans everywhere can “all rise” for this: the Yankees slugger isn’t even close to done yet.
Judge hit his Major League-leading 60th home run on Tuesday, launching a solo shot to deep left-center field in the bottom of the ninth inning. Not just historic, the homer sparked the Yankees to a 9-8 walk-off win on Giancarlo Stanton’s grand slam four batters later.
With his blast, Judge has closed within one big swing of equaling Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League record for home runs in a single season.
Judge is now one of only three Yankees ever to slug 60 homers in a single season. Babe Ruth established a then-Major League record with 60 home runs in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris surpassed the Sultan of Swat in 1961.
Judge is just the sixth Major League player (ninth time) to hit at least 60 home runs in a single season, a group that includes Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1998; 65 in ’99), Sammy Sosa (66 in ’98, 64 in ’01; 63 in ’99), Maris (61 in ’61) and Ruth (60 in ’27).
Most HR in a season, MLB history — with totals through 147 team games:
2001 Barry Bonds: 73 — 64
1998 Mark McGwire: 70 — 62
2022 Aaron Judge: 66 (current pace) — 60
1998 Sammy Sosa: 66 — 58
1999 Mark McGwire: 65 — 56
2001 Sammy Sosa: 64 — 55
1999 Sammy Sosa: 63 — 59
1961 Roger Maris: 61 — 56
1927 Babe Ruth: 60 — 54
It is notable that Judge has reached 60 in a season when average home run production has been far below that level. Prior to Judge this season, no player had completed a calendar day with a lead of 20 or more homers over his closest competition since Ruth led Jim Bottomley and Hack Wilson by 23 homers on the last day of the 1928 season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s right there with some of the best, on the very short list of best all-time seasons,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Tuesday’s game. “Then you factor in that he’s not just a slugging DH. This is a guy that’s played center field for us the bulk of the season, that can steal 20 bases for us. That’s the leader and face of our team. In that context, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better season.”