For nearly 120 years, the only two players in American League history to hit 60 homers were a pair of Yankees: Babe Ruth and Roger Maris. Sluggers Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa all surpassed 60 in the National League, but in the AL, the Ruth/Maris duo stood alone. Those legends will have to make room for a third: Aaron Judge.
In the ninth inning on Tuesday night against the Pirates at Yankee Stadium, the MVP favorite crushed his 60th homer of his remarkable 2022 season, a solo shot off right-handed reliever Wil Crowe. It sent the Bronx faithful into a frenzy — not to mention the millions of fans watching at home.
In addition to No. 60, Judge now leads the American League in all three Triple Crown categories. Oh, and as a much-appreciated added bonus for the Yankees’ AL East aspirations? Judge’s solo shot kickstarted New York’s preposterous ninth-inning rally from down four to winning on a walk-off grand slam by Giancarlo Stanton (whose own remarkable total of 59 dingers in 2017 with the Marlins was surpassed by Judge).
Judge’s 2022 campaign has been one for the record books, and for awhile now, the question hasn’t so much been “Will Judge hit 60 homers?” as much “When will Judge reach 60 homers?” His pace only accelerated on Sunday, when he clubbed two bombs in Milwaukee against the Brewers to reach 59. Now, he’s crossed the threshold, and he didn’t waste much time in doing so.
For those curious, Judge did get his 60th home run ball back after the game from Michael Kessler, the fan who caught it.
Aaron Judge got the 60th HR ball back. Four fans shared a clubhouse meet and greet that includes photos with Judge. They each got signed balls, and the fan who caught the ball got a signed bat, per Yanks PR.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 21, 2022
Ruth’s 60th homer came in the 154th game of the 1927 season, on September 30th against the Washington Senators’ Tom Zachary. Roger Maris’ 60th came in Game 159 of 1961, on September 26th against Orioles right-hander Jack Fisher. To his immense credit, Judge has now turned the trick in Game 147. As the season winds down, he’ll have many more chances to surpass both Ruth and Maris on his way up the 60-homer leaderboard, setting a new AL and franchise record in the process. Maris’ sons were in attendance for No. 60 and should remain at the Stadium for this homestand as Judge chases Nos. 61 and 62.
It’s been a privilege to watch Judge dominate throughout 2022 and we can’t wait to see his final home run total.