Aaron Judge home runs: Yankees star ranks in top 10 homers as he tops Roger Maris’ AL single-season record

Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the year on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, breaking Roger Maris’ 61-year-old single-season records for both the American League and the New York Yankees. Judge recently became the first player to surpass the 60-year mark since 2001, when Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa accomplished the feat.

To mark the occasion, and to honor Judge’s brilliant season (it’s understood that he might win the Triple Crown), we decided to relive the year-long Home Run Derby, for one person, by highlighting his 10 most memorable home runs this year. There’s always room for disagreement when it comes to drills of this nature, but we’ve tried to curate a list that offers something for everyone: historic home runs, mammoth blasts, center hits, and balls that seem to travel at the speed of light.

The home run is, in many ways, the great unifying religion of this game. come then, we say, and join hands as we kneel at the altar of food.

1. No. 62: The judge goes to 62

Date: 4 Oct

Condition: The second game of a doubleheader follows

Opposing pitcher: Jesus Tinoko

As we will see below in entry #2, there was an extra week gap before this house. In fact, it looked like Judge could end the season stuck at 61 as the Yankees had just two games left. However, to lead off the second game of a doubleheader, Judge finished with a 62:

Much celebration followed.

2. #61: The referee matches Maris

Date: September 28

Condition: Top of the seventh; tied up; a runner on base

Opposing pitcher: Tim Mayza, Blue Jays

It took more than a week after Judge delivered his 60th home run, but he tied Maris with a shot to left field to break the tie. Statcast measured his exit velocity at over 117 mph, making it his hardest home run of the year. Take a look:

3. No. 60: Umpire ties up Babe Ruth

Date: September 20

Condition: Under the ninth? down by four; no one at the base

Opposing pitcher: Wil Crowe, Pirates

Judge was clearly sitting on a red fastball after making it 3-1, and Crowe stayed. To Judge’s credit, he made it count, sending the ball deep into left-center. That home run tied Judge with Babe Ruth for the second longest in both Yankees and American League single-season history. It also started a comeback effort that saw Giancarlo Stanton close out the night with a thrilling grand slam.

4. No. 36: The biggest of the year

Date: July 22

Condition: Top of the fifth; up by two; no one at the base

Opposing pitcher: Tyler Wells, Orioles

Judge had already pitched once earlier in this game, a three-run shot off Wells in the top of the third. For our money, this was the more memorable of the two home runs because it was (and still is) his longest of the season. Wells made a switch at 2-1 which went off on Judge’s plane. He took it all in, sending the ball about 465 feet to left-center, where it cleared both bullpens.

5. No. 10: The first departure

Date: May 10

Condition: Under the ninth? down by two; two at the base

Opposing pitcher: Jordan Romano, Blue Jays

It was Judge’s first of three hits so far this season. He fell behind 1-2 on Romano’s count before feasting on a hanging slider. Judge knew it was off the bat and took a few steps to admire it. A fan sitting in the front row of the second deck made a nice stunt to win a souvenir. That win moved the Yankees to 21-8 on the young season. The whole summer was waiting ahead. Times were good, man.

6. No. 28: So Long, ‘Stros

Date: June 26

Condition: Below 10th? tied up; corner runners

Opposing pitcher: Seth Martinez, Astros

Judge’s second retirement of the season came in a difficult situation. He was down 0-1 in the count against Martinez, a funky right low slot who had the shadows working in his favor. Martinez threw a slider that backed him up and Judge took full advantage. It wasn’t his longest or hardest home run, but it sailed quickly into the Astros’ bullpen in left-center for the win. The Yankees not only split their four-game series with the Astros as a result, but improved to 53-20 on the year.

7. No. 39: Blast from Barlow

Date: July 28

Condition: Under the ninth? tied up; no one at the base

Opposing pitcher: Scott Barlow, Royals

Judge’s third and most recent home run. Barlow had retired the previous batter, newly acquired Andrew Benintendi, on four pitches. Judge apparently saw all he needed to see during that at-bat, jumping on a first-pitch fastball and smoking it over the Royals bullpen in left-center. The win improved the Yankees’ record to 67-33. Barlow would also be charged with a loss in the next night’s game.

8. No. 1: The first of many

Date: April 13

Condition: Under the fifth? down by two; no one at the base

Opposing pitcher: José Berrios, Blue Jays

The beauty of a home chase is that every link in the chain matters. As such, we had to put Judge’s first home run of the season in here somewhere. He accomplished it in the Yankees’ sixth game of the year. Who would have thought he would hit another 60 (and counting) after that? Fittingly, No. 1 walked onto the first pitch he saw off that at-bat. Berrios threw a sinker a little high and a little inside, trying to get his hands on it, but Judge was able to get around and get it out to left field.

9. No. 15: Second deck shot

Date: May 22

Condition: Below the eighth? down one; no one at the base

Opposing pitcher: Kendall Graveman

That home run happened to be similar to the one Judge hit against Berríos. With an 0-2 spot, Graveman threw an elevated, low-90s sinker in and out of the plate. That didn’t stop Judge from putting it on the second deck. Judge’s home run tied the game, making it one of the most important home runs he’s hit from a Win Odds perspective. Alas, the Yankees would lose by a final score of 3-1.

10. No. 41: Big moment

Date: July 29

Condition: Below the eighth? in front of two; bases loaded

Opposing pitcher: Jackson Kowar

Here we have the more notable of Judge’s two Grand Slams this season. Kowar made a change on the first pitch that remained. Judge didn’t seem to get it all, but he had enough to put it in right field. His other grand slam, for those wondering, came a few weeks earlier against Pirates lefty and former teammate Manny Bañuelos.

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