In the spirit of New York Yankees outfielders who preceded him, Aaron Judge last night hit his 61st home run of the season, tying Roger Maris, who accomplished the feat in 1961. He passed Babe Ruth, who hit 60 home runs in 1927, and became just the fifth player in history to hit at least 61 - in addition to Maris, Mark McGwire hit hit 70 in 1998 and 65 in 1999, Sammy Sosa hit more than 61 home runs three times from 1998 to 2001, and Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001. The latter three players, however, are associated with baseball's steroids era.
- KC's View:
If nothing else, one has to admire Judge's timing. (And even for a Mets fan, there is a lot to admire about Judge.)
"On the eve of the regular season, Aaron Judge was offered a seven year, $213.5 million contract from the New York Yankees. The consensus at the time was that he was worth a bit more than that, but that it was a fair offer with a hometown discount baked in. Judge, though, turned it down, opting to bet on himself -- and it has worked in a huge way."
Remember … Judge isn't just the AL home run leader (by a huge margin). He's also a pretty decent bet to be the first player to win the Triple Crown in several years, leading the league in batting average, home runs, and runs-batted-in.
There is a famous story about how Joe DiMaggio - who was the first baseball player ever to make $100,00 a year (imagine!) - once was asked what he would've been paid had he played during the era of free agency. DiMaggio said that he would've walked up to (then-New York Yankees owner) George Steinbrenner and said, "Hello partner."