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The Aaron Judge Home Run Record Tracker: Game 126

Aaron Judge picked up some ground in his historic chase.

Dan Brink

Welcome back to the Aaron Judge Home Run Record Tracker! We’re taking a daily look at where Aaron Judge’s monster season tracks compared to some of the other historic single-season home run leaders in anticipation of Judge potentially joining their ranks. We’ll be going by Team Game because not every player’s seasons were in sync with the calendar days and everyone didn’t play all of the team’s games, which makes this our universal standard. On to Game 126:

Aaron Judge through Game 126 of 2022: 49 HR

Team Game 126: 8/26 — 1-for-2, 3 RBI, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 BB

While Judge didn’t homer during the Yankees’ hit parade on Thursday night, he came up big last night. With two on in a 0-0 game, Judge strode to the plate and smashed a first-pitch cement-mixer from J.P. Sears to dead center:

Judge’s 49th blast was not only a majestic display of pure power, but it was crucial for the Yankees in the context of the game they were playing, providing the margin of victory in what turned out to be a 3-2 win. Just like so many of his homers across 2022, Judge came through with a dinger when his team could really needed one.

Roger Maris through Game 126 of 1961: 50 HR

Team Game 126: 8/23 — 1-for-3, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB

Maris didn’t send one over the fence, but had a hugely impactful game, scoring three times and managing a triple. Neither he nor Mickey Mantle hit a dinger in this game, still leaving Maris four homers ahead of his teammate.

Babe Ruth through Game 126 of 1927: 42 HR

Team Game 126: 8/29 — 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

This was a rare quiet night for Ruth, who did little to help the Yankees in a game they still won 8-3 over the St. Louis Browns thanks to Lou Gehrig’s 3-RBI day, which also included his 41st homer. Ruth would play 33 games in 1927 in which he neither notched a hit nor drove in a run, and this was one of them.

Barry Bonds through Game 126 of 2001: 54 HR

Team Game 126: 8/22 — 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB

This was another game that was pretty representative of Bonds’ run in the early-00’s. Pitchers were careful with him, as it became more and more apparent throughout 2001 that Bonds was a force unlike any we’d ever really seen in baseball history. Bonds didn’t homer, but picked up two more walks. He would ultimately walk in 28 percent of his plate appearances for this month.

Mark McGwire through Game 126 of 1998: 51 HR

Team Game 126: 8/20 (2) — 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K

The Cardinals played the second of a doubleheader in Queens, and McGwire hit his second homer of the day, a first-inning solo bomb off Rick Reed to give St. Louis a quick lead and to push himself over the 50-dinger mark in late August. McGwire hooked this one, crushing it down the left-field line and just barely keeping it fair.

Sammy Sosa through Game 126 of 1998: 48 HR

Team Game 125: 8/19 — 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K

With McGwire watching from first base, Sosa sent a towering blast out to left, temporarily putting himself ahead by one in the home run race. Of course, later in this game, McGwire would hit home runs himself, thrusting himself back on top with 49.