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. Let’s head onto Game 127:
Aaron Judge through Game 127 of 2022: 49 HR
Team Game 127: 8/27 — 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Judge hit his 49th bomb the previous night, but he wasn’t able to make it happen in back-to-back nights. In fact, the Yankee offense as a whole struggled to get anything going, getting just one hit combined in 11 innings. This was made all the worse considering that they went up against one of the worst starters in the league this year, but let him shut them out for eight innings. There were plenty of pitches that could’ve been launched, either by Judge or one of his teammates.
Roger Maris through Game 127 of 1961: 50 HR
Team Game 127: 8/24 — 0-for-4, 1 RBI
Maris didn’t get much going on this night, failing to record a hit in a 6-4 loss to the Angels. He did lift one deep, getting a fly ball off of Ted Bowsfield in the third inning, but it was caught for a sacrifice fly. Bowsfield and Tom Morgan managed to keep the eventual home run king grounded for the rest of the night.
Babe Ruth through Game 127 of 1927: 43 HR
Team Game 127: 8/31 — 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K
The Babe had a quiet day for most of this game, getting on and letting his team do the damage. He worked a walk in the third inning and scoring on a Tony Lazzeri homer (after stealing second following a steal of home from Mark Koenig), and then got on via error in the fourth and scored again thanks to a Lou Gehrig triple. Ruth had one final shot in the eighth inning though and he made it count, smacking a solo shot off of Tony Welzer.
Barry Bonds through Game 127 of 2001: 55 HR
Team Game 127: 8/23 — 1-for-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R
Bonds did not start this game, and in fact did not play in 90 percent of it. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter for the pitcher in the top of the ninth tied at five, and he did Bondsian things — he smacked a pinch-hit solo shot deep to right field to give the Giants a lead they would not surrender (and in fact expanded to five runs in that inning).
Mark McGwire through Game 127 of 1998: 51 HR
Team Game 127: 8/21 (1) — 1-for-1, 1 RBI, 1 R
The Cardinals sure did have a gauntlet at this point in their schedule, playing four games in two days. McGwire didn’t start this game, but like Bonds he also entered late for a pinch-hit appearance. McGwire got a big hit as well, but it wasn’t a homer — he doubled home a run and later scored instead.
Sammy Sosa through Game 127 of 1998: 48 HR
Team Game 127: 8/20 — 0-for-5, 3 K
Facing off against Bonds’ Giants, Sosa struggled while the rest of the Cubs lineup had a strong performance against Russ Ortiz. Sosa struck out three times, a small valley between peaks where he would homer. Bonds did hit one out in this game, but given that it was in ‘98 instead of the 2001 season that we’re following for him it’s just a fun footnote.