Aaron Judge becomes sixth player to hit 60 home runs in a season originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
All rise for No. 60.
Fans at Yankee Stadium rose to their feet as Aaron Judge approached the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday, hoping to witness history. They then were sent into a frenzy when he crushed his 60th home run of the season and Giancarlo Stanton soon followed with a walk-off grand slam in the Yankees’ 9-8 win over the Pirates.
With one more home run, Judge will match the 61 hit by Roger Maris in 1961, which stands as the single-season record for the Yankees franchise and the American League.
Judge joined an exclusive club by reaching one of baseball’s most hallowed numbers, becoming the sixth player in MLB history to reach the milestone. In addition to Maris, he joins Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and, of course, Babe Ruth.
The mystique of Yankee Stadium – which mostly haunted opposing teams across the street at the original “House That Ruth Built” – was out in full force on the night Judge matched the 60 home runs Ruth hit in 1927.
With the Yankees trailing by four entering the bottom of the ninth, Judge led off the inning having previously gone 0-for-3 with a walk. Judge hit a 3-1 pitch into the bleachers in left-center field, leaving fans to battle for the historic baseball.
Anthony Rizzo followed Judge with a double, Gleyber Torres walked and Josh Donaldson singled to load the bases for the Yankees. That set the stage for Stanton, whose long ball was even more theatrical than Judge’s 60th hit in the same inning.
With 15 games remaining, Judge is on pace to hit 66 home runs, per FanGraphs.
Ruth hit his 60th home run in his 154th and final game of the season and Maris hit his in the 159th.
Bonds holds the overall single-season record with 73 home runs in 2001, topping the 70 hit by McGwire and 66 by Sosa during the home run chase of 1998. That duo combined to eclipse the 60-mark five times over a four-season stretch, with McGwire hitting 65 home runs in 1999 and Sosa crushing 64 in 2001 and 63 in 1999.
Following his 60th home run, Judge currently sits in position to win the Triple Crown, an accomplishment achieved just 12 times by 10 players. The 30-year-old outfielder also leads the AL with a .316 average, moving one point ahead of Xander Bogaerts on Tuesday, and 128 RBIs.
Judge has a commanding lead in this season’s home run race, sitting comfortably ahead of Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who has 40.
A California native drafted by the Yankees in the first round in 2013, Judge hit 52 home runs during his rookie season in 2017. His 60 home runs and counting this year is the most hit in a single season since Stanton hit 59 while with the Miami Marlins in 2017.
Judge hit his 58th and 59th home run on Sunday while going 4-for-5 at the plate in the Yankees’ 12-8 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. It was his 11th multi-home-run game of the season, matching the single-season record shared by Sammy Sosa (1998) and Hank Greenberg (1938).
Judge will look to tie another record on Wednesday by matching Maris when the Yankees again host the Pirates.