The African-American MLB star is the focus of Spring Training reports from baseball media for the first time since Barry Bonds was crushing records, defying metrics and redefining precision-hitting in MLB.
Yankees outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are baseball’s most intimidating power hitters. Judge hit 52 bombs in a historical rookie season with the Yankees and Stanton led baseball with 59 dingers for the Miami Marlins. Stanton was shipped to the Yankees as part of new Marlins President and part-owner Derek Jeter’s roster revamping, which blessed the Bronx Bombers with one of the most dangerous lineups in the history of the game.
Aaron Judge & Russell Wilson hit consecutively today, and both put on a show. Unofficially, Judge had 10 BP homers. Wilson and his 31-ounce Louisville Slugger had five. Giancarlo Stanton paced the group with 15. Wilson said one of his home runs came in a ninth-inning scenario https://t.co/MKTtADhir8
Together, they can become the second duo in MLB history to have two 50-homer beasts on the loose. The only tandem to ever do it was Yankees legendary combo off Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris who both have accomplished the feat in 1961 in a captivating race to break Babe Ruth's homerun record.
Despite the eye-popping statistics produced in the PED Era and then last season’s historical bump in total MLB home runs, the 50-homer club is still an exclusive one.
Just 29 players have reached the 50 home run club in MLB history and only nine have done so more than once.
The New York Yankees are the only franchise to have five players reach the milestone while on their roster: Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Alex Rodriguez, and Aaron Judge. Now they have two potential 50-homer maniacs on the same squad and both are African-American.
9/25/17: Watch an extended cut of Aaron Judge's 50th home run breaking the rookie record set by Mark McGwire in 1987 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 May of 2017, I was writing about Ryan Howard as the last African-American to lead all of MLB in homers. In his peak seasons, from 2006-2009, he was one of baseball’s all-time celebrated Black Knights and led the league in homers twice. He teamed up with 2007 NL MVP and shortstop Jimmy Rollins to bless baseball with the only World Series squad baseball has seen in decades that was driven by All-Star African-American players.
Then Aaron Judge blossomed and Giancarlo Stanton entered his peak performance years and we had two Black Knights rise to the top of the game. Judge dominated the home run battle in Miami and he became a rising face of the sport. Kids are wearing No. 99 Jerseys and that number was NEVER cool in baseball before Judge started rocking it and his career skyrocketed. Times have changed quickly.
Giancarlo Stanton x Aaron Judge Highlights Song Credit: Unstoppable by The Score
Stanton was already a God in Miami and now he is adding New York to his portfolio and his fame will exponentially increase with every homer and public appearance. After a quick nap, the Yankees franchise has awoken to an embarrassment of riches again.
These guys are statuesque, handsome, Adonis-like in stature and Biracial. They are marketable, of good character and hit the living horse dung out of the ball. They play for the winningest franchise in baseball history, an iconic sports brand that turns superstars into living legends. It’s the only MLB team where the player can never be bigger than the fans and the franchise. Just rent some time on the throne.
These guys will be jocking for endorsements and rankings and props and MVPs for the next few years if everything goes according to plan.
It’s Stanton and Judge’s time to change the face of the sport and continue to display the multiplicity of skills that African-American players have always brought to the sport of baseball.
Giancarlo Stanton is headed to the NY Yankees https://t.co/zmaNVSGKmN
This fame and fortune doesn’t come without a huge price in New York. You must produce or the fans will attack. Right now, all eyes are on Stanton and Judge and with the fame comes the scrutiny of the judgemental New York media as Stanton found out on Sunday when he was heavily criticized for missing three fly balls in a Spring Training game as he tries to adjust to playing leftfield. Stanton hasn’t played that position since a five-game stint in Double -A Jacksonville back in 2010. If he was still in Miami, it would have been a brief mention if at all.
In the House That Jeter Built, fans want to see excellence immediately and everyday. The possibilities are endless, but as we move closer to the season, Judge and Stanton will have to make history a reality.