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 150:
Aaron Judge through Game 150 of 2022: 60 HR
Team Game 150: 9/23 — 1-for-4, 2 K
Not every day can be a smashing success, even when you’re hitting better than anyone else on the planet. Judge was tested in this game more than in the series opener, but the Sox managed to avoid any major damage from the MVP favorite. He did launch a ball up in the air out to left field, but just like his fly out from yesterday the baseball decided that 100+ mph was not enough to get it to leave the park. Instead, it landed harmlessly in Tommy Pham’s glove on the warning track and Judge had to settle for a late single to preserve his batting average lead in pursuit of the Triple Crown.
Roger Maris through Game 150 of 1961: 56 HR
Team Game 150: 9/15 (2) — 1-for-4, 1 R
Not much to report on from Maris in this one, as he got on base with a single in the eighth and later scored on an error that cut the Yankees’ deficit to two. Unfortunately, Maris wasn’t able to get aboard in any of his other three at-bats and the Yankees couldn’t push across any more runs after they were gifted that second one.
Babe Ruth through Game 150 of 1927: 56 HR
Team Game 150: 9/24 — 2-for-4, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
We’re nearing the end of Ruth’s time on our tracker, and he’s still a few home runs short of his eventual total. That means he’s due for a run on bombs, but he didn’t get any in this outing — instead, he slapped a couple singles off of a pitcher who unironically was called Lil Stoner, worked a walk late in the game, and even managed to swipe a bag.
Barry Bonds through Game 150 of 2001: 66 HR
Team Game 150: 9/23 — 2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
Bonds had a fantastic start to this day, working a walk as part of a first inning where the Giants sent their entire lineup to the plate before stepping up in the second and fourth innings to hit a pair of dingers. The two-homer night further cemented his lead on McGwire’s pace and pushed him into striking distance of the all-time record.
Mark McGwire through Game 150 of 1998: 62 HR
Team Game 150: 9/13 — 0-for-2
McGwire’s leap to 62 was a week ago by this point, but the slugger was still plateaued on this mark when he played against the Astros. Big Mac’s historic push past Maris left him a little deflated, and it didn’t help that he left this game after just two at-bats in the fifth inning when the Cardinals made some defensive swaps. McGwire’s cold streak would last a couple more games, but that left the door open for a certain someone ...
Sammy Sosa through Game 150 of 1998: 62 HR
Team Game 150: 9/13 — 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K
When McGwire opened up a four-homer lead after Game 145 of the season, even though there was some time left in the year it seemed like this was the burst that would finally separate these two in what had been an extraordinary race. Fast forward just a few days later, and Sosa brought himself right back into the running with a double-homer day to cap off his third straight game with a long ball.
Just like in the team’s previous game, this was a barn burner, only this time the Cubs were the ones with the big lead trying to hold on. Sosa was a big part of getting that lead, thanks to his first blast coming in the fifth inning to push the Cubs up 8-2. The Brewers would proceed to score eight runs by the ninth inning to claim the lead though, adding at least one run in each of the next four frames. Sosa kept his team alive with a mammoth solo shot to bring it to 7-8, and his teammates managed to scratch across another to push it to extras and ultimately win the game in 10 innings.
Yeah, those are some major bombs — and they announced that he was very much still in the race. The two were so neck and neck throughout the year that this isn’t even the penultimate time that they would tie each other, and there was only 12 games left at this point! 1998 was truly a wild year for baseball.