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 147:
Aaron Judge through Game 147 of 2022: 60 HR
Team Game 147: 9/20 — 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Aaron Judge put himself on the doorstep last time out with a pair of bombs, and last night, he walked through the door of the 60-homer club. It took until the ninth inning for Judge to find his spot, and at the time it appeared to be just a moral victory amidst a game that the Yankees had let slip away — four batters later and New York was walking it off, capping off one of the best innings the team has played all year. Focusing back on Judge here though, let’s watch him rip this ball:
Boom. Judge’s 60th blast was a no-doubter, off a 95-mph sinker that just didn’t bite and got left in the center of the strike zone for the best hitter in baseball to demolish. Judge missed a moment to blow the game open earlier with the bases loaded, but you can’t sneak past him twice and expect to come away unscathed.
Roger Maris through Game 147 of 1961: 56 HR
Team Game 147: 9/14 (1) — 2-for-4, 1 RBI
It was neck-and-neck for a while, but Judge’s latest hot streak has pulled him well ahead of Maris’ pace. A four-homer lead and 15 games in hand to land one to tie and two to break Maris’ mark isn’t just a matter of when, it’s a matter of whether it will happen in a single game at this point. Maris, for his update, is still in the midst of a relative dry streak, finding a couple of hits and driving in one run but failing to launch a homer for the fourth consecutive game.
Babe Ruth through Game 147 of 1927: 54 HR
Team Game 147: 9/18 (2) — 2-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB
Judge has tied his mark with eight games to spare, but at this point, Ruth was well behind where he would ultimately end his ‘27 campaign. This was the start of a scorching hot stretch to reach the historic mark though, as he went deep in the fifth inning off of Ted Lyons. This was the start of a final streak where Ruth would hit six homers in just eight games, cementing his status as the home run king of his era.
Barry Bonds through Game 147 of 2001: 64 HR
Team Game 147: 9/20 — 2-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Bonds was simply unstoppable all year in ‘01, and that didn’t stop near the end of the year. Bonds’ 64th homer of the year was an arcing blast straight over the center field wall, pulling two ahead of Mark McGwire’s pace at this point in his record-setting season. This shot tied the game for the Giants at four apiece, but Houston had the last laugh with a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 10th inning.
Mark McGwire through Game 147 of 1998: 62 HR
Team Game 147: 9/10 — 0-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
After all the theatrics of tying and passing Maris, McGwire went on a bit of a cold streak. That continued in this game, as McGwire worked a couple of walks but also struck out twice and failed to get a hit, though he crucially scored on a single in the fifth inning when the Cardinals turned a 4-1 deficit into an 8-4 lead.
Sammy Sosa through Game 147 of 1998: 58 HR
Team Game 147: 9/10 — 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
McGwire’s slump was Sosa’s chance to get back into the race, but he didn’t manage to shorten the gap in this game. Instead, he settled for a pair of walks and a run scored just like McGwire, as the Cubs scored five runs in the third to overcome the Pirates.