Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night in Texas, putting him ahead of every other single-season long-ball hitter outside the steroid era.
In the first game of a doubleheader at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, Judge’s record-setting hit came in the first inning against Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco.
Judge drove an 88 mph slider over the left-field wall, where the ball was caught by a fan who had come to the game prepared with his glove.
The blast-off of Judge’s bat had a velocity of 100.2 mph and traveled 391 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
After the game ended with a 3-2 Rangers victory, Judge told reporters that he had been thinking of his wife and family during the game. “I was also thinking of my teammates and the fans,” Judge said. “All of their support has gotten me through this entire process.”
The Yankees rushed out of the dugout as soon as Judge crossed home plate to celebrate his record-breaking accomplishment, which broke a tie with Roger Maris, who hit 61 pitches in 1961, for the most single-season hits in the American League.
Judge was given one more at-bat before being withdrawn from the game by Yankees manager Aaron Boone, giving him another moment to shine in front of his fans.
In game 161, Judge set the record for most home runs in a season by a shortstop. If he had not gone deep Tuesday night, he would have had only one more game to reach No. 62 (which he did).
The pressure of the home run chase and the fast-moving calendar was almost too much for Judge, but he stopped just short of saying so.
“The game started going a little faster,” he said. “I can’t lie — I’d look up the past couple of games, and it’s the seventh inning. I’m like, dang, I only got one more at-bat. We got to figure this out.”
Joe Biden expressed his approval for Judge and assured the Yankees outfielder of further success. The American League’s No. 2 seed, the 99-62 Yankees, will play in the wildcard round.
“History made, more history to make,” Biden said.
On Wednesday, Judge of Linden, California, hit his 30th home run of the season in Toronto, tying Maris’ record. He is now alone in seventh place for most homers hit throughout any one season.
The record-setters before him are National League home run, kings:
- Barry Bonds, 73, 2001
- Mark McGwire, 70, 1998
- Sammy Sosa, 66, 1998
- Mark McGwire, 65, 1999
- Sammy Sosa, 64, 2001
- Sammy Sosa, 63, 1999
- Aaron Judge, 62, 2022
- Roger Maris, 61, 1961
- Babe Ruth, 60, 1927
- Giancarlo Stanton, 59, 2017
- Babe Ruth, 59, 1921
Judge’s achievement is unforgettable to baseball fans who prioritize skill and accuracy.