61 years since Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961, his all-time American League record has been tied by a fellow NY Yankee slugger. 30-year-old Aaron Judge went deep for the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night, hitting his 61st home run of the season and tying Maris’ long-standing record. The home run came in the seventh inning against Toronto pitcher Tim Mayza, driving the ball over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre.
Judge’s 61st home run came in the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, and Judge’s 151st, with seven more games still to play in the regular season. Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961 on the final day of the ’61 season. All three players reached these achievements while playing for the Yankees.
Maris’ record has been exceeded six times, first when Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998. Judge is the first player to hit 60 home runs since 2001, when Barry Bonds (73) and Sammy Sosa (64) each accomplished the feat; however, all three players have had their records tainted by reported steroid use. McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied ‘knowingly’ using performing-enhancing drugs.
Judge also leads the Major Leagues in nearly every offensive category, and tops the AL all three Triple Crown stats: batting average, home runs and RBIs. If he holds onto those leads, Judge may also become the first Triple Crown winner in a decade, and just the second in 55 years. He would also become the first Yankee to earn the honor since Mickey Mantle did so in 1956.
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