New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge smashed his 62nd home run of the year on Tuesday to break the American League single-season record set in 1961 by Roger Maris.
Judge clobbered the first inning offering from Texas Rangers starter Jesus Tinoco over the left field wall to etch his name into history and give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
Judge watched intently after he sent the 1-1 breaking ball toward the outfield at 102 miles per hour (164 km per hour), the crowd standing in anticipation.
The ball arrived 391 feet (119 meters) later into the glove of a lucky fan who cleanly snatched what will be a highly sought-after collector’s item.
The 30-year-old’s teammates embraced him one-by-one after he crossed the plate to finally break the tie with Maris after failing to do so in the past five games, including one played earlier on Tuesday.
The overall Major League Baseball (MLB) record belongs to Barry Bonds, with 73 homers hit for the National League’s San Francisco Giants in 2001. Bonds is among the many of MLB’s great sluggers tainted by doping accusations in the so-called “Steroid Era.”
Judge, a California native who grew up rooting for the Giants and Bonds, has said he considers 73 to be the record.
But Roger Maris Jr., the son of the late Roger Maris, believes Judge’s accomplishment is different.
“Congratulations to Aaron Judge and his family on Aaron’s historic home run number 62!” Maris Jr. tweeted.
“It has definitely been a baseball season to remember. You are all class and someone who should be revered. For the MAJORITY of the fans, we can now celebrate a new CLEAN HOME RUN KING!!”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.