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.
The Yankees were off on Monday, so as we have with other offdays this year, we’ll check in with some other notable 60-dinger seasons and the most recent such power surge: teammate Giancarlo Stanton’s 59-homer 2017. Amusingly, Judge has already matched the former MVP.
Giancarlo Stanton through Game 146 of 2017: 54 HR
Team Game 146: 9/14 — Did not play
Game 146 was one of just three days off that Giancarlo Stanton took during his entire MVP campaign. In completely unsurprising news, the woeful Marlins lost to the Phillies, 10-0. Serves ‘em right, huh?*
*In fairness, Stanton did not homer in Game 145 or Game 147, so we’d have been out of luck even if the timing of the Yankees’ recent offday was tweaked.
Mark McGwire through Game 146 of 1999: 55 HR
Team Game 146: 9/15 — Did not play
Welp! We got screwed by another DNP in this expanded version of the tracker for Game 146. Mark McGwire left Game 144 with a strained groin and sat out a few days. That included Game 146, which went 12 innings but didn’t even feature McGwire in a pinch-hitting role as the Cardinals fell to Milwaukee, 10-8.
To McGwire’s credit, the breather helped him out, as he proceeded to club 10 homers over his final 15 games to reach 65. Damn.
Sammy Sosa through Game 146 of 1999: 59 HR
Team Game 146: 9/16 — 1-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 ROE, 1 GIDP
Finally, one of these dudes actually played! It didn’t end in a homer for ‘99 Sammy Sosa though, as he could only muster a two-run double off the right-center-field wall in the ninth. It put the Cubs on top in a game that they’d win over the Reds, but let’s be honest, we don’t care about that on a Yankees site in the year 2022.
Since ‘99 Sosa was at exactly the same home run total as ‘22 Judge through 146 games, it’s worth noting that Slammin’ Sammy ended the year with 63 bombs.
Sammy Sosa through Game 146 of 2001: 54 HR
Team Game 146: 9/20 — 1-for-3, 2 BB, 1 K
Yes, sadly, we have gone 0-for-Game 146 in these not-as-famous seasons providing home run heroics. Facing the Reds again, the Cubs survived a five-run rally in the ninth and won, 6-5, as Cincinnati mostly pitched around Sosa. Fred McGriff at least made the second walk hurt with a three-run shot in the third that proved to be pivotal.
Since we don’t endorse home run tracker posts around here that don’t include at least one dinger, please enjoy No. 55 from ‘01 Sosa just one day later:
And here’s a reminder of how our primary historic homer seasons were going through 146 games, including Jake’s excerpt on Judge from yesterday:
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 with No. 58.
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.
Four innings later came 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.