After five games without hitting a home run, Aaron Judge bounced off the field this Tuesday a ball thrown by the Venezuelan Jesus Tinoco, of the Texas Rangers. The shot became Judge’s 62nd home run of the season. He has finally surpassed the mark set in 1961 by Roger Maris, also a Yankees player, who hit 61 home runs. At 33 years old, Judge has become the most powerful hitter in the American League in 2022 with a record that excites and makes fans dream two decades after the doping scandal that forever stained baseball’s reputation.
The mark achieved by Maris stood until 1998, when two batters from the other league, the national, shattered the records. These were Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who inaugurated a frenetic season within the league that made the fans of this sport turn on the televisions every time one of them went to the batter’s box. Three years later, Barry Bonds smashed the mark with 73 home runs. However, these three players, arguably among the best hitters in MLB history, have been linked to performance-enhancing doping substances, so the national league branding is nuanced.
Since Bonds no player had hit 60 home runs in a season. Judge did it, who also tied the mark of 61 achieved by Maris on September 28 against the Toronto Blue Jays. On Tuesday, he broke the zero against the Rangers in the top of the first inning with a smooth, streamlined move that landed behind left field. The player walked the bases with a light jog while all of his teammates were waiting for him at home plate to congratulate him. In the stands, Judge’s parents embraced in the historic moment.
Some lucky fan in the 31st section of Rangers Stadium in Arlington got the ball, something that was not possible with the player’s 61st home run, which landed in an area between the wall and the stands. A field security team accompanied whoever caught the ball to have it authenticated by the league. For weeks, the pitchers they just throw Judge balls marked with invisible stamps that make it impossible to fake a coveted sports trophy.
Judge’s record came Tuesday in the Yankees’ second game against Texas that day. At 2:00 p.m. local time the game began where the Bronx Bombers got their 99th victory of the season with a score of 5-4. In the afternoon, the Yankees had seen the Texans recover for the seventh inning. The team has already qualified for the postseason, where it hopes that its rival will be defined, which will come out of the series between Tampa Bay and Cleveland.
Until tonight, Judge had only hit one home run in the last 13 games. His nervousness and that of the pitchers had placed him in an unfavorable mark of 3 hits in 17 at-bats. He also walked five times. Despite this, Judge is still the clear favorite to win the triple crown of the American League, which is obtained when the same player leads the statistics of RBIs, batting percentage and home runs. No one has since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Judge leads in RBIs, but at .311 he needs to hit more to get past fellow Minnesota Twins Luis Arraez, who has . 315. In home runs, of course, Aaron Judge can’t be overshadowed.
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Source: EL PAIS