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 155:
Aaron Judge through Game 155 of 2022: 61 HR
Team Game 155: 9/28 — 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB
When Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s record, one of the controversies about his season was that it was the first one being played out to 162 games, whereas Ruth’s ended in 155. Many pundits at the time remarked that Maris should have to break Ruth’s record by this point in the season in order for the record to count. A different debate is going on in today’s game with the discussion around the steroid-era record-setting seasons, but it’s only fitting that Aaron Judge managed to settle an old argument while a current one rages on.
61 years since 61.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 29, 2022
Aaron Judge has written his name alongside Roger Maris in baseball's record books. pic.twitter.com/1V4Gums34C
Judge demolished a pitch in the seventh inning off of Tim Mayza, sending it into the Blue Jays’ bullpen to tie Roger Maris with 61 homers in a season. The AL record is now shared by the two, and Judge has seven games in hand to break the tie and own the mark all to himself while the Yankees coast to the end of the year.
Roger Maris through Game 155 of 1961: 59 HR
Team Game 155: 9/20 — 1-for-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K
Maris indeed did not break 60 by the time of this game, but he did homer in it. He launched a 1-0 offering from Milt Pappas into right field for his 59th of the year, just one shy of Ruth’s pace. Still, with several games left in hand (and eventually a tiebreaker) Maris had an excellent shot at tying Ruth and a good one at passing him, as he eventually did.
Babe Ruth through Game 155 of 1927: 60 HR
Team Game 155: 10/1 — 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
This is it for the Bambino in our series — his final game of the 1927 regular season was a modest day with a walk and a run scored, but no home run. His mark of 60 bombs stood for 34 years, and at the time it was completely revolutionary. No one else in the league could come close to what Ruth had done, and it would take a long time for anyone to even somewhat consistently approach it.
Barry Bonds through Game 155 of 2001: 69 HR
Team Game 155: 9/29 — 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB
This was an efficient point in the season for most of our field here, as Bonds hit one out in back-to-back days to get to within one of Mark McGwire’s record. Bonds picked on Chuck McElroy in the sixth inning of a 1-1 game, delivering the go-ahead run on a leadoff shot that wound up being the winning run. Like Maris before him, Bonds had plenty of room to play with at this point and his prolific power seemed to make it an inevitability that he would not only tie the record but break it.
Mark McGwire through Game 155 of 1998: 64 HR
Team Game 155: 9/18 — 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB
As I said, apparently this is a great point for hitting home runs. McGwire joined in on the fun of this marker in the season by launching one, deep to left-center. McGwire had been in a little bit of a lull power-wise at this time, but this bombshell of a blast gave him his second homer in four games and retook the lead in the home run chase from Sammy Sosa.
Sammy Sosa through Game 155 of 1998: 63 HR
Team Game 155: 9/18 — 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
Realigned with McGwire down the stretch, Sosa didn’t have much of an answer for his rival on this night. Not only could he not get in on the homer spree, but he couldn’t get any hits, only reaching on an error and scoring in the first inning. Never fear though, as Sosa had plenty left in the tank later in the year.