NEW YORK — Only five players in major league history have hit 60 home runs in a season — until the New York Yankees slugger. Aaron Judge He joined that exclusive club on Tuesday night with a solo performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The judge lit someone from the right Will Crow He led off the final frame and drove it 430 feet into the left field sweepers, sparking a five-run ninth-inning rally for a 9-8 victory.
He forced his teammates and made a rare curtain call.
“I really didn’t want to do it, especially, we are losing, he is the only shot,” he said.
“He hit 60 tonight and it’s like nothing happened. He’s got more work to do, and that’s the mentality, and it’s always going to be that way. It’s fun to be a part of that,” he said. Giancarlo StantonWho presented the game-ending grand slam.
The star outfielder is now one home run away from Roger Maris’ American League single-season hit record set in 1961 and a major league mark that stood for 37 years.
With his 60th home run, he tied 6-foot-7 Judge Babe Ruth (1927) for eighth on the single-season home run list.
“I don’t think about the numbers,” said the judge. “When you talk about Ruth and Maris and [Mickey] Mantle and all these Yankees greats who have done so many great things in this game, you don’t expect to be mentioned with them as a kid. It’s an incredible honor. It’s something I take absolutely lightly. But we are not done. We still have a couple of games left this season and hopefully a couple more wins will come with them.
“I’m trying to enjoy it all, soak it all in, but I know I still have a job to do on the field every day and I have to keep my head down, keep preparing and keep my mind focused.”
The Yankees maintain a 5 1/2-game AL East lead over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Judge’s 60th home run came down with a pitch that his great uncle, Hall of Famer Red Ruffing, hit with the Yankees in the 1930s. Crowe toured the roofing tiles at Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before the game.
“[Judge] He did what he had to do with it,” Crowe said. “3-1 count, I’m not going to wear it. I felt like following him. He walked away, walked back in. He took a good swing on a bad pitch.”
Roger Maris Jr. and Kevin Maris, sons of former players, were both on hand. Each time the umpire goes to the plate, specially marked balls are used. The away fans stood, and many groaned at every foul ball.
But in the ninth, their referee’s shot exploded.
“I think there’s something to be said for that kind of spark, going down four runs in the game, igniting that kind of magic that night. That was special,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
There are now nine 60 home run seasons in MLB history by six different players. Judge joins Hall of Famers Ruth and Marris as well as Barry Bonds (2001), Mark McGwire (1999, 1998) and Sammy Sosa (2001, 1999, 1998).
Judge’s 59 home runs were previously the most by a right-handed batter in AL history. Judge also joined Ruth (four) and Mickey Mantle (two) as the third member of the historic Yankees franchise to wear multiple 50-HR seasons in pinstripes.
Judge took control of the Triple Crown on Tuesday night as his .316 batting average moved into the AL lead as a Minnesota Twins first baseman. Luis ArezIt’s down to 314. All Judge except Locke to lead the league in homers and RBIs (128), has a chance to become the 11th player to win the Triple Crown since RBIs were first introduced in 1920.
He is the first player since. Miguel Cabrera In the year The 2012 Triple Crown winner led all three categories in September or later, and Mantle became the first Yankee since winning the Triple Crown in 1956, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.
No one in the majors has more than 40 homers.
“To be so far off the field, it’s hard for me to catch,” Boone marveled.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.