“Number 60! Slide over, Babe. You got some company!”
A commentator exclaimed after Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees swung his bat. Judge hit his 60th home run of the season against a 153-kilometer-per-hour sinker of Wil Crowe as the first batter in the bottom of the ninth inning with his team behind 4-8 at a home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates held in the Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. The audience of 40,157 people yelled out a cheer. With the latest home run, Judge now stands with Babe Ruth who hit 60 homers in a single season for the first time in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1927.
This is the first time in 21 years that a batter reached the record of 60 homers in an MLB season. Since Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs in 2001 when steroids were widely used, there was no batter who reached the record until Wednesday. Judge is the sixth batter to hit 60 home runs in one season in the MLB (ninth time).
“You talk about Ruth, Maris, Mantle, the Yankee greats, you never imagine as a kid getting mentioned with them,” said Judge after the game. “It’s an incredible honor and something I don't take lightly at all.”
With his current trend of averaging 0.4 home runs per game, he can add six more homers in the remaining 15 games. If he reaches the 66th mark, he will share the No. 3 position for most home runs in a single season along with Sosa in 1998. Adding just one more home run will put him in joint first place in the American League, which is the record that hasn’t been broken for the past 61 years. Since Roger Maris in 1961, there was no American League batter who hit 61 homers in a season.