New York Yankees phenom Aaron Judge broke the single-season record for home runs by a rookie, hitting 52 total in the 2017 MLB regular season. Judge surpassed the previous record held by Mark McGuire of the Oakland Athletics in 1987, who hit 49 home runs. Judge also broke Yankees legend Babe Ruth’s record of most home runs at home by a Yankee in a season, which was originally 33.
The righty finished the regular season with a .284 average to go along with 114 RBIs for the Yankees. Judge helped the team clinch an American League Wild Card berth in the MLB postseason.
The right fielder, who stands at 6’7”, also won the 2017 Home Run Derby during the MLB All-Star Weekend in Miami. Judge outlasted Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins with 11 home runs to clinch the title in the Home Run Derby. He has an incredible swing and even greater power, which is evident as Judge hit four balls that surpassed 500 feet in the derby. Judge was also able to overcome an amazing first round by Justin Bour of the Miami Marlins, who hit 22 home runs. However, this was overshadowed by Judge’s comeback, hitting 23. Judge is the first ever rookie to win the Home Run Derby outright.
The 21-year-old is the undoubted leader of the Yankees, and to some, is considered to be the face of the MLB. He’s taken the Majors by storm, from the anticipation of waiting to see Judge’s highlights come across SportsCenter, to the daily updates of his home run count. The Yankees even have a section of their stadium designated to Judge, called “The Judge’s Chamber.” People who sit in that section will usually dress up, wearing the judge’s wigs and robes, and whenever Judge is up to bat, they “all rise” in honor of the “judge entering the courtroom.”
Although Aaron Judge makes hitting home runs look easy and MLB players consistently hit them on a daily basis, it is still difficult; a lot of it depends on the environment you’re in. PLNU Men’s Baseball freshman 1B Alekzander De La Cruz said a lot goes into hitting home runs, especially at PLNU.
“There can be conditions. So under certain conditions, it’s really tough here at Point Loma,” said De La Cruz. “It’s almost impossible to hit a home run to left field; everything is to right field just because the wind blows in and the air is heavier since we’re right on the marine.”
Judge is still very young, but Yankees fans hope he can continue bringing their team success and eventually lead them to their 28th World Series championship, which would be an addition to the all-time record for any MLB franchise.