New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge He broke Roger Morris’ single-season American League home run record in Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers.
Judge connected for Rangers starter Jesus Tinoco’s home run in the first inning of Game 2 in Arlington, Texas.
The Yankees’ leadoff hitter launched the third pitch of his first at-bat against Tinoco into the left-field seats. A fan was seen jumping or falling over the near left field wall and disappearing behind the fence.
“I felt good right off the bat,” Judge told reporters in the postgame news conference. “I didn’t know where it was going to land or what it was going to hit.”
The judge said it was a great relief to finally break the record.
“It’s been a fun ride so far, you know, having the opportunity to do this,” he added. “The constant support of the team we’ve got, the guys around me and my family who’s been with me through this whole thing. It’s been a huge honor.
He said he wasn’t trying to focus on hitting a home run. He wanted to play his game.
“I am good enough and if God wills it, it will happen,” he said.
Reporters at the game reported that a fan who caught the historic ball was escorted from the seating section by security.
The fan said CNN affiliate WFAA He still hasn’t figured out what to do with the ball.
The judge said he wanted to keep the ball, but he understood whether the fan would keep it or sell it. Some observers think the ball is now worth millions of dollars.
“We’ll see what happens with that. It would be nice to have it back,” Judge said. “But it’s a souvenir for a fan. They made a great catch there and they have every right to that.
Yankees players came out of the dugout and cheered as their teammate touched home plate.
Judge, 30, tied Maurice up with a line-drive homer in the seventh inning by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Tim Misa last Wednesday.
Judge left in the second inning Tuesday and in the bottom half of the inning, Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulled him from the game, drawing raucous cheers from the crowd at Globe Life Field.
Morris hit 61 home runs 61 years ago in 1961, breaking Babe Ruth’s record of 60 in 1927.
Judge thanked the Morris family, some of whom attended previous games when Judge was trying to tie the score.
“It’s a tough situation (for them). Your dad’s legacy, you want to uphold that, but if you get a chance to meet their family, they’re amazing people,” he said. Unbelievable.”
Barry Bonds set the major league record with 73 home runs in 2001.
The other two players to hit more home runs in a season than Judge are Mark McGwire (twice) and Sammy Sosa (three times).
It’s unclear whether Judge will play Wednesday in the final game of the regular season, but he has an outside chance to win the American League triple crown (leading in batting average, runs batted in and home runs).
Judge is tops in home runs and RBIs, but trails Minnesota Twins star Luis Arez in batting average.
He said he wants to play, but it’s up to Cat, who needs to get his team ready for the playoffs.
Judge is no stranger to home run records. He also holds the American League record with 52 in 2017. Pete Alonso of the New York Mets hit 53 as a rookie in 2019, though that was the major league mark at the time.