Aaron Judge Ties New York Yankees Legend Roger Maris With 61st Home Run

by Suzanne Halliburton
Cole Burston/Getty Images

Aaron Judge tied the American League record for most homers in a season on Wednesday. putting his name alongside the legendary Roger Maris.

Judge is the designated hitter for the New York Yankees. And a day after the Yankees clinched the American League East title, Judge led off the seventh inning with a home run. He’d been sitting at 60 for the past seven games.

Maris hit 61 in 1961. He broke the long-standing record established by Babe Ruth, who pulled off the feat in 1927.

In his first two at bats, Aaron Judge popped up to second, then hit a grounder to third. There was lots of drama with his third at bat. Judge, facing left-hander Tim Mayza, stretched the count to 3-2. He knocked a waist-high sinker over the left field fence for the two-run homer to break a tie with the Blue Jays.

Check out the amazing hit from Toronto as Aaron Judge puts himself in the Major League Baseball history books. Homerun records definitely are the most impressive.

Roger Maris Jr Sat In Stands to Watch Aaron Judge Tie His Dad’s Record

And to make the homerun moment that much cooler, Roger Maris Jr sat with the family of Aaron Judge to take in the achievement. Maris’ son hugged Judge’s mother, Patty, to give his dad’s approval. Maris Sr died in 1985 of cancer. He was only 51.

Maris broke Babe Ruth’s record on the final day of the 1961 season. Critics claimed that Babe Ruth still was the rightful owner of the record because he accomplished the benchmark in a 155-game season.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Aaron Judge probably was destined to set (or tie) a major homerun record. After all, back in 2016, he swatted a homer in his very first bat in the Majors. At 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, he’s built like a tight end in the NFL. (Notre Dame recruited him to play football). But pitchers also fear him. He’s one of the largest players in baseball with a very scary swing. The Yankees drafted him late in the first round of the 2013 draft. He’d been a star at Fresno State.

After hitting No. 61, Aaron Judge pointed towards his mother. He then hugged Yankees manager Aaron Boone. (Thomas Skrlj/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Three players have slugged more homers than Aaron Judge and Maris. Sammy Sosa reached 66 in 1998. Then Mark McGuire eased past him with 70 that same season. Then Barry Bonds moved past both Sosa and McGuire, knocking 73 in 2001. All three competed for teams in the National League. However, the trio competed in the so-called steroid era of baseball. And all three were credibly accused of using performance enhancers while chasing the homer record.

That’s why the 61 homers hit by Maris and now Aaron Judge are now regarded as the true record and not just the American League standard.