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 153:
Aaron Judge through Game 153 of 2022: 60 HR
Team Game 153: 9/26 — 1-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
This was the sixth game since Aaron Judge joined the 60 homer club, but he was unable to elevate himself any higher again. Instead, he settled for a first-inning single and a run on a sacrifice fly and later working some walks — one of which was intentional to move a runner to third base. Unfortunately the Jays escaped that jam, and wound up winning the game as well.
Roger Maris through Game 153 of 1961: 58 HR
Team Game 153: 9/19 (1) — 0-for-3, 1 BB
Nothing going for Maris or any of the Yankees hitters in this game, as Maris failed to record a hit and the Yankees failed to score a run. Baltimore blanked them 1-0 behind an excellent performance from Steve Barber, but all eyes were on Maris still as the time ticked away on his chances to break the Babe’s record.
Babe Ruth through Game 153 of 1927: 59 HR
Team Game 153: 9/29 — 3-for-5, 2 HR, 1 3B, 6 RBI, 3 R
Murderers’ Row had a field day here, putting up 15 runs (14 earned) on Hod Lisenbee and the Senators’ bullpen. The star of the night was undoubtedly Ruth, who unleashed two blasts in the first and the fifth inning respectively. This was the game that pushed Ruth into having just enough time to reach the 60 home run mark, a record he would set the very next day.
Barry Bonds through Game 153 of 2001: 67 HR
Team Game 153: 9/26 — 1-for-2, 3 BB, 1 R
It’s hard to hit homers when you don’t get many at-bats. The Dodgers only officially intentionally walked Bonds once in this game, but he walked three times in total as Los Angeles paid tribute to his fearsome stature in the batter’s box.
Mark McGwire through Game 153 of 1998: 63 HR
Team Game 153: 9/15 (2) — 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
His Cardinals were out of it by this point in the season, but McGwire still had a personal race to compete in — he had to outlast Sammy Sosa and become the new home run king. He had finally broken his dry streak in the previous game, but McGwire wouldn’t get a hold of one in this game. He got good wood on a ball in the first inning that he smacked down the left field line, but that would be just a double and he wouldn’t get any other hits that night.
Sammy Sosa through Game 153 of 1998: 63 HR
Team Game 153: 9/16 — 3-for-5, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 R, 1 K
This game was silent for six innings, until the Cubs broke the tie with two runs in the top of the seventh and the Padres immediately answered back with two of their own in the bottom half. That led us to the eighth inning, where Sosa stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered this blast:
The bell had not yet rang on the ‘98 home run race — oh no, it was just getting interesting. These two went back and forth so many times in the final weeks of the season, and it captivated the baseball world.