TORONTO– New York Yankees hitter Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run on Wednesday, equaling Roger Maris’ 1961 single-season home run record in the American League.
In the seventh inning, the judge hit the Toronto Blue Jays’ Tim Mayza’s record-breaking home run and sent him over the wall at the Rogers Center.
The 30-year-old had matched Babe Ruth’s total over 90 years ago and still surpassed Maris’ 61-year-old record to secure his place among all-time hitting greats.
Speaking to the YES Network after the game, Judge said it’s “hard to describe” how he feels when he can share the success with his teammates. He added that having his mother with him meant a lot to him.
“I’m nothing without my family,” Judge said. “You mean the world to me. You are the reason I am here, the reason I am the person I am and that I can share this moment with my mother and also try to give Roger Maris Jr a little nod. , that means a lot.”
Judge is the sixth player in major league history to hit at least 60 home runs in a single season but downplayed his record season.
“I wasn’t really thinking about numbers or statistics and things like that,” he told reporters. “I go out there and try to help my team win.”
After hitting his 394-foot home run, Judge received a standing ovation from the Toronto crowd and was greeted by his teammates as he touched home plate.
The Yankees, crowned champions of the AL East on Tuesday, defeated the Blue Jays 8-3. Judges’ next chance to break the record comes Friday when the Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles.
“I say it over and over again, Aaron Judge; everyone should just watch and pay attention,” Yankees head coach Aaron Boone said last week after Judge hit his 60th home run. “I can say that because I lived that and he showed that: he’s focused on being a great teammate and winning. He knows that everything else will take care of itself.”
With seven regular season games remaining, Judge is unlikely to match the major league single-season record of 73 home runs.
But many have pushed the record aside because it’s currently held by Barry Bonds, who – along with other players of that era – has been embroiled in performance-enhancing drug scandals and is said to have used steroids. Bonds and Sammy Sosa have denied these allegations.
The judge disagrees, recently telling Sports Illustrated that “73 is the record in my book.” But Mari’s son, Roger Maris Jr., said Wednesday that Judge “should be revered for being the actual home run champion of a season. That’s really who he will be when he turns 62.”
“It doesn’t just mean a lot to me, it means a lot to a lot of people that he’s clean, he’s a Yankee, he’s playing the game right … Baseball needs to look at the records, and I think baseball should do something,” Maris said Jr. to the YES Network.
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https://6abc.com/aaron-judge-61-home-run-roger-maris-new-york-yankees-blue-jays/12278365/ New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hits 61st home run to tie Roger Maris’ 61-year-old record