Aaron Judge Makes History
By Leah Ally
Volume 3 Issue 1
November 7, 2022
Image provided by Fox News
Aaron Judge has made baseball history. The New York Yankees’ star outfielder, age 30, smashed his 62nd home run of the year, setting a new American League record for most home runs hit in a single season. On October 4th, 2022, against Texas Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco, Roger Maris’s 61 home-run record was surpassed after 61 years of holding the profound title.
Coming into the league in 2016 at 24 years old, Yankee fans had high hopes for the young star, as he was the 32nd pick in the first round of the MLB 2013 draft. Judge would go on to have a record-breaking rookie season while winning numerous Player of the Month awards and being named American League (AL) rookie of the year, finishing as runner-up for the most valuable player in the AL. He was selected as an All-Star, becoming the first-ever debut player to win the Home Run Derby. Relating to his current achievement of 62 home runs within a season, Judge stood for two years as having the most home runs (52) for a rookie in MLB history. Unfortunately, after this extraordinary year, Judge would suffer from several injuries, including a wrist fracture and a rib fracture. Although Judge faced numerous setbacks, including the Covid-19 pandemic, he continued to succeed in maintaining high batting averages, getting league awards, and standing out on the team. He is responsible for leading the Yankees to the playoffs for nearly 5 years straight (2017-2022).
Before the 2022 season, Judge had not yet successfully negotiated a long-term contract with the Yankees after turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension, creating tensions with Yankees’ management and uncertainty about Judge’s future with the Yankees. Shortly after, a $19 million deal for one year was made official with the manager, Brian Cashman. As the season began, Judge started off strong, picking up home runs nearly every game and making an even bigger name for himself. As it got deeper into the year, it was clear Aaron Judge had his sights set on making history, as every at-bat without a home run was followed by disappointment by both him and his fans. After hitting his 62nd home run, “Judge spoke about how he felt about being named the AL home run king, which he admitted was a “big relief” getting that done with the amount of pressure hovering over him each at-bat. When asked about the most memorable part of this season he was quoted stating “The fans at home, the fans on the road. The constant support. Seeing Yankee Stadium on their feet for every single at-bat. They’re booing pitchers for throwing balls, which I’ve never seen before. I think I got a base hit the other night and I think I was getting booed for hitting a single.”
Although Aaron Judge’s next step in the MLB is unknown, for his 2022 season, he proved his value as a player, and it is safe to say there is more to come for the young star.