Aaron Judge: Sixty-Two


Gavin Kleinberger, Sports Editor

Aaron Judge finished the regular season with 62 home runs, a new record for the American League. The record was initially set in 1927 when Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. This record stood for 34 years until it was broken by Roger Maris when he hit 61 home runs in 1961. At the time, this was the sole record in Major League Baseball. This record was broken in 1998 when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hit 70 and 66 home runs, respectively. The record was broken again in 2001 when Barry Bonds hit 73, which still stands as the Major League single-season home run record. However, Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire played in the National League, making Judge’s 62 home run season record-breaking, as he plays in the American League. 

Some consider Aaron Judges’ 62 home runs to be the true record. This is due to the accusations of taking performance-enhancing drugs against Sosa and Bonds, along with the admittance by McGwire. To many fans, their records are illegitimate. In addition, all three of them, along with any other players who tested positive or were accused of taking PEDs, will never be allowed into the Hall of Fame. Roger Maris Jr said, “(Judge) should be revered for being the single-season home run champ, and I think baseball needs to look at the record, and I think baseball should do something.” At this point, it is up to the court of public opinion. Bonds and Sosa never tested positive nor admitted to it, although there is a strong suspicion that both took PEDs. For this reason, MLB will never change the records, and Judge’s 62 home run season will forever stand as the 7th most home runs in a season, followed by multiple seasons by Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says he will “Let the fans make their own judgment” without altering the record books.

However, this controversy should not affect how Judge’s season was viewed. A 60-home-run season has only been done nine times in the history of baseball, and a 62-home-run season has only happened seven times. So regardless of the debate over the true home run king, Judge still had one of the best offensive baseball seasons of all time, which should be celebrated.