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 run through Game 146:
Aaron Judge through Game 146 of 2022: 59 HR
Team Game 146: 9/18 — 4-for-5, 1 1B, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB
Judge was kept out of the homer column for a few days after his two-homer night in Boston, but remained productive, reaching base in 7 of his 14 plate appearances the last three games. Well, yesterday, he put it all together, continuing to work opposing pitchers, but also producing another jaw-dropping display of power hitting. No. 58:
The Judge drops the gavel for No. 58 ⚖️ pic.twitter.com/vhALyAMwZH— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 18, 2022
Much like homer No. 56 in Boston on Wednesday, this was another tremendous show of opposite field power. Judge stays back on the ball and just demolishes it the other way, 111 mph off the bat.
And then, four innings later, No. 59:
Again, much like his two-dinger performance at Fenway, Judge switched sides for his second homer of the game, opting for an old-fashioned pulled tank job, this one 110 mph and 443 feet off the bat. Judge remains in complete control at the plate, dictating the terms of engagement with opposing pitchers, despite nominally being the man that must stand and react. It remains completely awe-inspiring.
Roger Maris through Game 146 of 1961: 56 HR
Team Game 146: 9/12 — 1-for-3, 1 1B, 2 R, 1 BB
Still not much doing for Roger, whose finishing kick is just around the corner. Maris still wasn’t far clear of his teammate Mickey Mantle, who sat on 53 dingers on this day but also managed just a 1-for-3 with a single. The Yankees won 4-3 in a game that must’ve been shortened by rain, as it was called with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Babe Ruth through Game 146 of 1927: 53 HR
Team Game 146: 9/18 (1) — 0-for-4
As nondescript a game you can get, with Ruth coming to bat four times, putting the ball in play four times, and being retired without reaching base four times. As far as I can tell, this appears to be one of just three games in 1927 in which Ruth started and neither reached base, drove in a run, or struck out.
Barry Bonds through Game 146 of 2001: 63 HR
Team Game 146: 9/19 — 1-for-3, 1 1B, 1 BB
Not much to see here, with Bonds unable to spark the Giants on a day that they fell 10-3 to the Astros. The box score does offer the opportunity to remembers some guys, with Liván Hernández being the losing pitcher for San Francisco that day, and Octavio Dotel working the final inning for Houston. Also, a member of the 2009 Yankees appeared in this game, Cody Ransom (best known for his ridiculous vertical jump).
Mark McGwire through Game 146 of 1998: 62 HR
Team Game 146: 9/9 — 2-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R
After breaking the record for most homers in a season, McGwire sat on 62 for a bit, allowing his rival Sosa back into the race. He actually was pulled early in this one, with a rookie J.D. Drew replacing McGwire just three innings in. Drew would in fact go on to hit his first career homer, kicking off a career that would feature 242 dingers.
Sammy Sosa through Game 146 of 1998: 58 HR
Team Game 146: 9/9 — 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Sosa will soon go on a tear to close the gap on McGwire, but for now he still drafts four back. He couldn’t do much against Jason Schmidt, managing just a walk, while the Cubs defeated Pittsburgh 4-2 in a sleepy late-season game at Wrigley.