New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge crushes 60th home run

NEW YORK — Mid-trot for the most notable and historic home run in more than a decade that propelled Aaron Judge to a level graced by baseball royalty, the Yankees slugger chose not to revel, cheer or cheer revel moment. And about an hour later on Tuesday night, the Yankees hitter celebrated the 60th home run of his great 2022 season by lamenting the fact that he hadn’t hit him earlier in the game when the bases were loaded, as opposed to when he did it did, at the bottom of the ninth inning when they were empty and New York was trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I kind of kicked myself running around bases,” Judge said. “Well, man, you idiot, you should have done that a little sooner.”

Eventually, goaded by his teammates and manager, Judge had given up a half-hearted curtain on those who had stayed at Yankee Stadium and experienced more of its magic. It was more duty than pleasure. While he’s been chasing ghosts and their associated numbers all season, things that matter a great deal in the baseball world but very little in the judge world, he has been stunningly adamant in his insistence that the team replace the individual. To him it all felt weird, disappointing, wrong – another round number was hit, but his team was still losing three runs and was only three outs from another loss, just like when he hit 50.

Something just happened. Anthony Rizzo got to base, then Gleyber Torres, then Josh Donaldson, and Giancarlo Stanton got up, and Wil Crowe let a change go too high, and Stanton sent him down the left fieldwall on a line. This time, Judge appeared to be the first to emerge from the dugout to greet his teammates at home plate and celebrate an unlikely 9-8 win that captured an important and momentous night for the rest of the world , to.

As wild as it is to think that Judge thinks that way — that he’s so team-oriented, so tunnel-eyed, that he doesn’t allow himself the grace to enjoy this moment unless his teammates also have something to celebrate — everyone around him it swears true. That he is truly machine-like in his beliefs, the opposite of personality for the person whose one-off record he set on Tuesday.

When Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run to break his own mark in 1927, he said after the game, “Sixty! Count them, 60! It was pure Babe: a little arrogant and very bombastic, even appreciative of his place in the story at the moment, perhaps because he was so used to writing it. Baseball’s early record books included Ruth’s name so much that it felt biographical. He was the game in the 1920s, and that he’s still so prominent a century later shows that, for all his pomposity, he understood the enormity of the shadow he cast.

Others eventually surpassed 60 – first Roger Maris in 1961, then Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds, although the last three were aided by performance-enhancing drugs, a fact that doesn’t debase their achievements as much as it provides important context by which they are displayed. Ruth’s record came before the integration. Maris preceded the internationalization of the game. Each time carries his luggage.

That’s one of the reasons Judge is apologizing from the talk about numbers. He only said “60” once in a post-game press conference. He said “team” at least 10 times. He could get caught up in a debate about the true or legitimate record. He prefers an almost anthemic devotion to the party line by which he lives.

“To get a chance to play baseball at Yankee Stadium, full house, first place team, that’s a dream come true,” Judge said. “I love every second of it. Even when we were down you don’t like to lose but I knew the top of the lineup was coming our way, we have a chance to come back here and do something special. I try to enjoy everything, soak it all up, but I know I still have a job to do on the field every day.”

He seems to be serious: somehow this life, this reality, doesn’t bother Jews. As much as Ruth reveled in it, Maris loathed it. When he and teammate Mickey Mantle were chasing Ruth in 1961, Maris sipped coffee and puffed cigarettes and watched his hair fall out in clumps. And as much as he pushed himself to perform, Maris viewed his legacy as a liability, saying, “It would have been a lot more fun if I had never hit those 61 homers. That just gave me a headache.”

The judge’s head is calm, clear, imperturbable. Which is lucky, because as much as he’d enjoy getting the numbers out of the way – hitting 61 to tie Maris for the American League record and 62 to break it – he almost accidentally made sure of it that there will be no clean slate. In addition to his unbeatable leads in homers and runs in which he was hit, Judge’s ninth-round batting brought his batting average to an AL-best .315. That means if the Yankees linger in the final 15 games of their season trying to secure an AL East title in a division they now lead by 5½ games over Toronto, they will do so if not just Ruth and Judge But Maris is chasing the second Triple Crown in the last half century.

This is a man who has played his entire career in the Bronx. A man who turned down a seven-year contract extension on opening day. Aaron Judge knows the pressure of the numbers, the awards, the team effort, the upcoming free hand that comes with a whole different breed of numbers this winter. On Tuesday, he allowed himself to check the names of his ancestors — “You’re talking about Ruth and Maris and Mantle and all these Yankees greats…” Judge said — but didn’t delve further into those lines of thought.

The past is about the ego. The present is about team. And the New York Yankees, undoubtedly Aaron Judge’s team, picked up perhaps their best win of the season on Tuesday. As Stanton trotted to the Grand Slam, Judge was able to clear his mind of what could have been, unencumbered.

The night he hit 60 — yes, babe, count them, 60 — he reveled and cheered and reveled in another home run that was hit by another man of immense stature. The world can have the remarkable and historic solo shot. Aaron Judge will win the Grand Slam that won the Yankees another baseball game.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34629496/new-york-yankees-aaron-judge-ties-babe-ruth-60th-home-run New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge crushes 60th home run

Emma Bowman

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