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.
Just like Monday, the Yankees were off, so we’re going to check in again on some of the other great slugging seasons: 2017 Giancarlo Stanton (59 homers), 1999 Mark McGwire (65), and both 1999 and 2001 Sammy Sosa (63 and 64, respectively).
Giancarlo Stanton through Game 143 of 2017: 54 HR
Team Game 143: 9/10 — 2-for-6, 1 2B, 3 K
I mean, if you crush a ball 401 feet, you should probably get a home run, but Giancarlo Stanton directed a 115.6-mph howitzer off Matt Wisler to the wrong part of Truist Park (then SunTrust). Had it been just a few feet closer to right-center, then it would’ve sailed into the bullpen, but instead, it clanged off the wall. Maybe he could’ve reached 60 if this went out! Oh well. It did lead the Marlins to a ninth-inning rally for the lead, but Atlanta countered to tie the game before winning in the 11th on a walk-off bomb by Lane Adams.
Mark McGwire through Game 143 of 1999: 55 HR
Team Game 143: 9/11 — 0-for-3, 2 BB, 2 K
After clubbing No. 55 the day before, McGwire took the collar in Game 143. The middling Pirates quartet of Chris Peters, Brad Clontz, Scott Sauerbeck, and José Silva did a good job of both getting whiffs and pitching around him as Pittsburgh beat up on Garrett Stephenson and José Jiménez to win, 8-5.
Sammy Sosa through Game 143 of 1999: 59 HR
Team Game 143: 9/12 — 2-for-4
The Cubs’ massively disappointing 1999 after their Wild Card berth in ‘98 rolled on as the Astros dominated them, 7-1. Mark Grace and Sosa’s two hits apiece accounted for four of the Cubs’ six total knocks; Chicago fell to 56-87. And neither of Sosa’s hits went for extra bases! What a bummer.
Sammy Sosa through Game 143 of 2001: 54 HR
Team Game 143: 9/10 — 1-for-4, 1 BB (IBB), 2 K
Sosa was sadly kept inside the park in Game 143 of 2001 as well. In the Cubs’ final game before the tragedies of 9/11 put baseball on the shelf for a week, he singles, was intentionally walked, and was otherwise shut down by a Reds pitching staff that didn’t do much else right on this day in an 8-2 Cubs victory.
Given the lack of dingers from the quarter today, please bask in the glow of this majestic Sosa homer from the previous day.
And here’s a reminder of how our primary historic homer seasons were going through 143 games, including Madison’s excerpt on Judge from yesterday:
Aaron Judge through Game 143 of 2022: 57 HR
Team Game 143: 9/14 — 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
There wasn’t an encore performance in Fenway after Judge hit two out on Tuesday, as the big man had a relatively quiet night in another Yankees win. He did get to be a part of a wacky play when he scored off of Gleyber Torres’ single that became a little league home run thanks to Boston’s terrible defense, but sadly there were no legitimate home runs for the league leader to hit in this one.