Is Aaron Judge going to make history?

Lucas Thompson

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Aaron Judge leads the league with 54 home runs.

Six years ago, Aaron James Judge heard his phone ring. After only three seasons in the minor leagues, the Yankees called him to the show. Little did he know, he would not only become the face of the New York Yankees franchise but also be on the road to making history.

In the 2022 season, Aaron Judge is on a tear; the right-fielder has a .302 batting average with 54 home runs as of September 6, 2022. Aaron Judge is different in his power and is on pace for 65 home runs. The Yankees franchise has a home run record of 61, held by Roger Maris in 1961. With his pace, I feel we will see him surpass that before the playoffs. 

On Monday, Judge and the Yankees faced the Minnesota Twins. Pitcher Trevor Megill had Judge at a 3-1 count. Megill’s next pitch was a mistake, missing right over the heart of the plate; Judge pulled it deep into left field just inside the foul pole. The Yankees would win the game 5-2. 

Judge joins a select group of baseball legends with 54 home runs in 135 games. He ties Mickey Mantle (1961) and Alex Rodriguez (2009). While the face of the franchise is hot right now, many issues have risen in the Yankees clubhouse, with Andrew Benintendi out with a wrist injury, DJ LeMahieu with a toe injury, and Anthony Rizzo out with a back injury. With three big-name players hurt, Judge needs to perform to a high standard and lead the damaged team with his attitude. 

“You’ve got to post every day — if guys are there or if [they are] not,” Judge said in an interview with The New York Times.  “If the normal crew we had in April is there or not, it doesn’t matter. I’ve still got to go up there, do my best for four or five at-bats, and play my heart out on defense.”

Lately, the Yankees’ lead in their division has dwindled to a five-game advantage. Previously they were ahead by 14 games, but with losses to the second-place division rival, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees look to improve their record. 

Judge is a man of his team. He will risk any records or personal accolades if it means his team’s success. It’s the reason New York and even other fans love him. He has told interviewers that the vital part of the game is winning, and one guy alone can’t win a baseball game. However, Yankees manager Aaron Boone is watching this chance of history intently.  

“I think when you put it up with the context of where the league’s at — who’s the next guy in the American League, Yordan with 31 homers?” Boone said, referring to Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, who ranked second in the A.L. with 31 home runs before Monday. “What he is doing is amazing.” 

It is exciting to think about telling the next generation of kids about Aaron Judge in his prime. While Judge continues to be humble, the viewers cannot help but stay excited about some possible history in the making. I can’t help but watch all of his future stats myself.