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The Aaron Judge Home Run Tracker: Game 130

Aaron Judge took another mighty step towards history last night.

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. Now, for Game 130:

Aaron Judge through Game 130 of 2022: 51 HR

Team Game 130: 8/30 — 3-for-5, 1 HR, 1 1B, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 K

With each passing day, Judge’s quest for 62 is feeling more and more real. Judge stroked his 51st homer of the season, matching Roger Maris’ total through the same number of games. This one was an impressive feat of opposite field power:

If you round up, Judge is now on pace for 64 home runs. Simply staggering what he is managing to do night after night, even with his team wilting around him.

Roger Maris through Game 130 of 1961: 51 HR

Team Game 130: 8/27 — 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB

Nothing much doing for Maris here, as this O-fer kicked off a short homerless stretch for the slugger. Judge remains right on Maris’ tail, and will the chance to surge ahead of him in the race over the next few days.

Babe Ruth through Game 130 of 1927: 44 HR

Team Game 130: 9/5 — 1-for-7, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 SF, 1 SB

Talk about a busy day! This was actually the first of five games between the Yankees and Red Sox played across three days, with this the front end of a doubleheader that lasted 18 (!) innings. Ruth came to the plate 10 times and was unable to add to his historic home run total. The offense was instead led by Lou Gehrig, who smashed his 44th homer to match Ruth at the top of the leaderboard at the time. Unfortunately, the Yankees would lose this one 12-11 on Ira Flagstead’s walk-off double.

Barry Bonds through Game 130 of 2001: 55 HR

Team Game 130: 8/26 — 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Going through Bonds’ incredible 2001 season day-by-day, it’s striking how even his worst games were still productive. Pretty much every night he would get on base, usually multiple times, and even if he opposing pitchers were carefully working around, he would find a way to make an impact on offense. No homer for him today in a 6-5 loss to the Mets, but he once again found himself on base twice, scoring once and driving in a run.

Mark McGwire through Game 130 of 1998: 53 HR

Team Game 130: 8/232-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB

McGwire stroked his fourth homer in a week to reach 53 on the year, and I was struck watching video of the dinger, hit off of Ricardo Rincon of Moneyball fame:

His 53rd came on the road against Pittsburgh, and McGwire received a curtain call for his efforts! The ‘98 home run chase so invigorated the baseball viewing public that McGwire was receiving standing ovations from opposing crowds for hitting key home runs late in games. This dinger cut the Pirates’ lead to 4-3 in the eighth, and yet the audience delighted in it all.

Sammy Sosa through Game 130 of 1998: 51 HR

Team Game 129: 8/23 — 2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

On the day that McGwire hit his 53rd, Sosa struck back with homers 50 and 51. Both were absolutely towering blasts, each featuring vintage Sammy hops out of the box:

The Cubs got creamed in this one, 13-3 by the Astros. But it’s telling that the Wrigley crowd was still packed when Sosa came up in the eighth and sent his second solo shot out, cutting the Houston lead to 10. The Cubs may have lost, but every person in attendance surely felt that they had witnessed history that day.