The MLB record books have been rewritten.
Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night off Texas Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco, surpassing Roger Maris for the most home runs in a single season by an American League player.
Judge becomes the fourth player to hit at least 62 home runs in a season. The other three, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
His alleged steroid use has cast doubt on whether his totals are legitimate. Judge is considered by many to be the true single-season record holder.
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One of those many is Roger Maris Jr.
“He’s clean, he’s a Yankee, he plays the right way,” Maris said last Wednesday after Judge tied his father. “I think he gives people a chance to see someone who should be revered for hitting 62 home runs and not just as a guy who did it in the American League.
“He should be revered for being the true single-season home run champion. That’s really what it is if he gets to 62, and I think that’s what needs to happen. I think baseball needs to look at the records, and I think baseball should do something.”
The judge disagrees and says that Bonds “73 (from 2001) is the record.But he still acknowledged that reaching 61 was full of pressure.
“You try not to think about it, but it gets into your head,” Judge said, adding that “there was definitely some relief” after snapping a seven-game homerless streak.
Sixty-one has also become a magic number in the Yankees and in baseball lore. Maris hit his 61st home run in 1961 in his 161st game, and Judge broke the record 61 years later in the Yankees’ 161st game of the season.
Another numerical note: Judge wears number 99. Maris wore 9.
In the bottom half of the first, Gerrit Cole also made Yankees history, striking out his 249th batter of the year. That surpassed Ron Guidry’s previous franchise record of 248 set in 1978.
ROGER MARIS JR. THROW MLB SAYS AARON JUDGE’S POTENTIAL 62nd HOME RUN SHOULD BE A ONE-SEASON RECORD
The 30-year-old is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason after he turned down an eight-year, $230.5 million offer from the Yankees before the season. All he’s done since he turned down that offer is have one of the best offensive seasons the game has ever seen and become a leading contender for the AL MVP Award.
Entering Tuesday’s doubleheader, he led the majors in home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases, OPS+ and runs scored. His 130 RBIs and 111 walks also led the AL, while his .311 batting average was second in the AL.
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Judge bet on himself, and he’s certainly going to cash out.