Aaron Judge Hits 61
Aaron Judge has tied Roger Maris's record with 61 homes runs in a single season.
61 Is A Magical Number
In '61 Roger Maris hit 61 home runs to break Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs originally set in 1927.
61 Years later Aaron Judge has tied Roger Maris's American League record of 61 home runs.
Some say 61 one is still the record for the entire MLB despite 3 different players hitting more than 61 home runs in a season - Will the Real Home Run King Please Stand Up?
Chasing the Triple Crown
Sure hitting 61 home runs is impressive in itself, but Aaron Judge is also chasing the Triple Crown (League Leader in Home Runs, Runs Batted In (RBIs), Batting Average).
The last time a player has won the Triple Crown was 10 years ago when Miguel Cabrera won it in his 2012 campaign with the Detroit Tigers. Prior to Miguel Cabrera, Carl Yastrzemski captured the Crown playing for the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
There have only been 18 seasons where a player has won the Triple Crown dating back to 1878. Ted Williams (1942, 1947) and Rogers Hornsby (1922, 1925) both did it twice!
Clinching the Division
While chasing Roger Maris's record, Aaron Judge also lead his team to an American League East division title.
This Yankee's team is not just good, they will go down as historically great.
At one point the Yankees had a massive 15.5 game lead in the AL East. Coming into the All-Star break they had a 13 game lead and they were being compared to the 1998 World Series Champion Yankees.
Only 2 teams were better than the '98 Yankees:
- 1906 Chicago Cubs: 116-36 (.763)
- 2001 Seattle Mariners: 116-46 (.716)
- 1998 New York Yankees: 114-48 (.704)
And by the way, Giancarlo Stanton is on this Yankee's team (he hit 59 home runs in 2017).
Roger Maris's Legacy
Roger Maris is considered by many to be the "true" home run leader at 61 home runs... More on that down below!
Roger Maris holds a special spot in my heart - he's originally from Fargo, North Dakota. As a kid I vividly remember going through The Roger Maris Museum and being humbled by what Roger Maris did in 1961.
“Sometimes I wish I never hit those 61 home runs. All I want is to be treated like any other player. I never wanted all this hoopla. All I wanted is to be a good ballplayer, hit 25 or 30 homers, drive in around a hundred runs, hit .280, and help my club win pennants. I just wanted to be one of the guys, an average player with a good season.” – Roger Maris
Will the Real Home Run King Please Stand Up?
Is Roger Maris's record of 61 home runs in '61 the true home run record for the entire MLB?
Is Aaron Judge actually positioned to break the MLB record instead of just the American League record?
Many will say yes, 61 is the real record, many will say that Bonds, McGwire and Sosa didn't cheat.
McGwire broke the record of 61 twice in back to back seasons! (1998-1999)
Sammy Sosa did it 3 times! (1998, 1999, 2001)
Single Season MLB Home Run Leaders
What do I think?
I think Bonds, McGwire and Sosa are all in the record books. Regardless of performance enhancing drug allegations, they have never truly been removed from the record books.
Will they be in the Hall of Fame?
Bonds, McGwire and Sosa will most likely never be in the Hall of Fame.
Maybe that fact alone shows who really owns the record. We'll never truly know.
P.S. If you consider Bonds, McGwire and Sosa to be removed from the record books - Giancarlo Stanton's 59 homers in 2017 with the Marlins would be considered the "real" National League record.
Single Season National League Home Run Leaders