Aaron Judge has turned the baseball world on its head.
His mighty September might not just win him the American League Rookie of the Year, but the AL Most Valuable Player award as well.
On Monday, at Yankee Stadium, Judge blasted two homers. In doing so, he broke Mark McGwire’s rookie record for home runs with 49.
Judge, just 25, stands alone with 50, the first to reach the half-century mark in his first season in the history of the game.
Check all all 50 of Aaron judge’s home runs from his breakout rookie season Check out http://MLB.com/video for more! About MLB.com: Former Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced on January 19, 2000, that the 30 Major League Club owners voted unanimously to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations into an independent technology company.
In a record-setting year of the home run in MLB, Judge’s homers have stood out the most, captured an audience and made people stop in front of the TV and watch his at-bats.
He’s that big. His shots are that majestic. His lure is that of a rock star. He has LeBron James dominance written all over his game, too.
Judge has it all to be baseball’s savior. He’s big – 6-foot-7 and 282 pounds – strong and handsome. He’s humble like Derek Jeter and has a great likability even though he plays for the hated New York Yankees.
He’s mixed, black and white, and speaks the language, too.
Most of all, Judge does the thing most baseball fans love and have loved about this great game, He hits home runs.
It’s why fans fell in love with Ruth, Mantle, Aaron and Bonds.
It’s the best feat in any sport: to hit a ball so hard and have it leave the ballpark. It gets fans jumping and roaring.
It’s why most grew up dreaming about hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series.
When MLB was on the ropes after the player’s strike in 1994 and many soured on the game, it was two guys doing one thing that saved baseball.
Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa put on a home run derby that re-energized the game, made fans return in droves, wanting to see who could hit the ball further and who could hit the most homers.
It was a banner year for baseball in 1998. That’s why it’s kind of fitting that Judge broke McGwire’s mark. It’s a return to the long ball era.
“It was amazing,” McGwire said about Judge’s accomplishment. “It’s greatness before our eyes.
“I’ve been watching him since Day 1.”
Mark McGwire discusses Aaron Judge’s terrific year and shares what went through his mind as Judge broke his rookie home run record.
McGwire, the retired slugger now the San Diego Padres’ bench coach, said he has heard nothing but good things about Judge. He’s a fan of the rookie already.
McGwire watched No. 49 for Judge that tied his record on TV. He missed 50 because he was driving in his car, but saw the replay.
“I’m so happy for him,” said McGwire said. “I sent him a text, left him a message.”
McGwire loves where MLB is headed with Judge leading the way. “This game is so great right now,” he said of the home run boom in 2017 when MLB set a record for the most home runs hit ever in a single season. “The power is back in the game – power pitching, power hitting.
“The game is the highest it can be right now. And the new generation of kids coming in right now are even better.”
He is the face of Major League Baseball. And this isn’t a prisoner of the moment thing.
Judge has been the buzz of the 2017 season. He put on a show at HR Derby back in July at Marlins Park that wowed MLB America.
Before the event, Judge was the talk, the main attraction. Even the players wanted to see him swing the bat.
Best of all, players in the game would be lying to think anybody else is the face of baseball. It’s not Mike Trout. It’s not Bryce Harper. It may have been before but not now.
Even his peers are comfortable to say it out loud. “At this specific moment, it might be Aaron Judge,” Rays’ All-Star pitcher Chris Archer said.
Judge broke the Yankees’ rookie HR record held by Joe DiMaggio in half a season. DiMaggio hit 29 homers in 637 at-bats in 1936. Judge reached 30 in just 293 at-bats.
It’s an incredible feat, one for the ages.
No rookie in the history of baseball has ever hit 50 home runs, until now. Aaron Judge speaks with the media after his historic day. Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/10FUHE2 Like on Facebook: http://facebook.com/YESNetwork Follow on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1dtTy7q Follow on Instagram: http://bit.ly/PGQWNm
The Yankees have said and done a lot to make you believe they have a real one, struck gold with Judge. Back in May, manager Joe Girardi compare Judge with Yankees legend Derek Jeter. It was about how Judge handles himself and treats others with respect.
Also in May, the Yankees also set up a section for Judge in the stands for fans. It’s called Judge’s Chambers. It inspired some invested fans to show up in judges’ robes and white wigs. With faux wood paneling to resemble a courtroom’s jury box, the Yankees officially marked three rows in section 104 at the Stadium.
As you see now, Judge deserved all of it.