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 152:
Aaron Judge through Game 152 of 2022: 60 HR
Team Game 152: 9/25 — 1-for-2, 1 2B, 1 BB
Judge continued his homer schneid last night, though the rain didn’t do him any favors. He lined a double down the left-field field in his first at-bat, and had to settle for a walk and a fly out in his last two appearances. He was set to bat in the bottom of the seventh, but lightning conspired to end this Yankees/Red Sox game after six inning. The nice thing for Judge is that his team has won seven in a row anyway to creep toward an AL East crown, as they completed a four-game sweep of Boston with a 2-0 victory.
Roger Maris through Game 152 of 1961: 58 HR
Team Game 152: 9/17 — 2-for-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 1 K
Roger Maris had been homerless for seven games before breaking through for No. 57 in Game 151, but with that out of the way, he ensured that he would go deep in back-to-back games by coming up with a dramatic 12th-inning shot. The Yankees and Tigers had played to a 4-4 deadlock through 11 with home runs from Bill Skowron and Clete Boyer and an RBI triple from Maris contributing to the scoring.
Then in the 12th with Tony Kubek on first after a two-out single, Maris squared one up from rookie right-hander Terry Fox:
With No. 58, Maris tied Hank Greenberg and Jimmie Foxx for third on the single-season home run list, trailing only Babe Ruth’s 59 in 1921 and of course, the Bambino’s 60 in 1927.
Babe Ruth through Game 152 of 1927: 57 HR
Team Game 152: 9/27 — 2-for-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 ROE
The Babe got one homer closer to his dream of 60 in impressive style for Game 152, as he broke open a 2-1 ballgame in the sixth with a grand slam against the up-and-coming Philadelphia A’s and their burgeoning ace, Lefty Grove. Not even a Hall of Fame southpaw could keep the red-hot Ruth of September 1927 in the ballpark at Yankee Stadium, and Ruth’s blast to right-center marked his 57th of the year.
Barry Bonds through Game 152 of 2001: 67 HR
Team Game 152: 9/25 — 0-for-3, 2 BB
The Giants were desperately trying to keep pace with the NL West-leading Diamondbacks in Game 152, but even though Arizona lost, the Dodgers poked their old rivals in the eye with a 9-5 win to prevent San Francisco from taking advantage and moving to within half a game of the lead. Part of that victory involved keeping Bonds hitless at Dodger Stadium; Chan Ho Park walked him in his first two plate appearances, but the Dodgers ‘pen ensured that Bonds was kept in check. None of his outs were even in the air, as they were easy groundballs.
Mark McGwire through Game 152 of 1998: 63 HR
Team Game 152: 9/15 (1) — 1-for-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI
The Cardinals had a doubleheader on September 15th, so with the majority of the long home run race behind him (as well as No. 62), Mark McGwire sat for the first time since August 24th. It may have been for the best, as his power bat had been silenced for a week. Perhaps the eight innings off helped because even though St. Louis was losing the opener, 8-5, in the ninth, manager Tony La Russa rewarded the loyalty of the Busch Stadium faithful who waited in the rain just for the chance to glimpse a cameo from Big Mac off the bench.
McGwire pinch-hit for Delino DeShields and destroyed the second pitch from southpaw Jason Christiansen:
Now that’s what I call customer service.
Sammy Sosa through Game 152 of 1998: 62 HR
Team Game 152: 9/15 — 1-for-5, 2 K
A day after tying Mark McGwire atop the all-time single-season home run annals with Nos. 61 and 62, Sammy Sosa had to watch Big Mac seize the record for himself once again with that aforementioned 63rd bomb. The Cubs rode a four-run seventh to beat the eventual National League champion Padres on this, 4-2, to get a key win in the Wild Card race, but Sosa was very quiet against future not-so-fondly-remembered Yankee Kevin Brown. He hit two balls on the ground, singled to center, and fanned twice in his final two at-bats. McGwire just never made it easy for Sammy.