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Judge slams 2022 61st homer, ties AL single-season record

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge scored his 61st homer of the season in Toronto on Wednesday night, tying the American League record set by compatriot Roger Maris.

Judge’s last long fly came against Blue Jays pitcher Tim Mayza in the seventh inning at Rogers Center.

Judge had been without a homer for seven straight games, an unremarkable feat for virtually every other player, but a drought by his 2022 high.

Judge was consistently very productive in his no-homer streak, walking 12 and scoring five runs as the Yankees went 6-1.

Wednesday blast moved Judge to tie for the seventh most homers hit in a single season.

The top six seasons ahead of Judge and Maris were hosted by three players who were all National League hitters linked to performance-enhancing drugs:

  • Barry Bonds holds the record for most homers in a season, with 73 in 2001 for the San Francisco Giants. Bonds is the lifetime home run leader, with 762.
  • Mark McGwire hit a then-record 70 in 1998 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • McGwire continued the historic season by hitting 65 out of the park in 1999.
  • Sammy Sosa chased McGwire throughout 1998 and ended up with 66 longballs for the Chicago Cubs.
  • Sosa turned 64 in 2001.
  • Sosa continued his pursuit of McGwire with another home run summer in 1999, with 63.

But in the minds of many baseball fans, Maris’ mark is the true untouched record that deserves the most adulation.

The respect Maris, who hit 61 homers in 1961, gets today stands in stark contrast to the lack of esteem he deserved in that magical season 61 summers ago.

Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in the 1927 154-game season, and Maris’ 61 came in a 162-game campaign, prompting then-Major League Baseball commissioner Ford Frick to ask ” a distinctive mark in the record books”. to show” the difference in games played.

While Frick never ordered an asterisk placed in Maris’ name, completing 61 home runs never garnered the admiration he has in these contemporary post-steroid years.

Now, Maris’ name is linked to baseball’s beloved 2021 leader Judge, 30, from Linden, Calif.

Judge has been an elite home hitter since his first full season in the Bronx, when he hit 52 homers in 2017.

He has booked his best season yet for this possible year as he is likely to test the free agent market ahead of the 2023 season.

Prior to the season, Judge reportedly turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million contract offer from the Yankees, bracing for a deal that could go north of $300 million with the Yankees or another big-money bidder.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

nbcnews Gt

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