When it comes to American sports history, perhaps no single spectacle is quite as vaunted as professional baseball’s home run.
The act of launching a speeding leather-stitched ball 300+ feet into the air is a totem of our national sporting legacy. An American-made wooden bat, with a crack, can snag the attention of tens of thousands of us at once. Our mustard-crusted jaws drop, quickly following the sound and the movement of the crowd to see where the ball is headed. And then, some poor sap in the outfield will have to make a choice between his beer and the ball hurtling toward him, with only absolute legends being able to handle both at once.
And so, as we discuss who’s done what when it comes to homers, we tend to get a little emotional. Sometimes a bit testy, but most just excited.
For fans of the New York Yankees, and for fans of baseball in general, Tuesday night was special, thanks to a very significant dinger.
Only five players had hit 60 home runs in a single season in the history of the major leagues — that is, until New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge joined that exclusive club with a solo homer against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.Trending:
Judge turned on a sinker from right-hander Wil Crowe leading off the final frame and drove it 430 feet into the left-field bleachers, sparking a five-run, ninth-inning rally for a 9-8 Yankees win.
He took a rare curtain call, forced by his teammates.Advertisement - story continues below
“I really didn’t want to do it, especially, we’re losing. It’s a solo shot,” Judge said.
Judge is now in rare air.
The All-Star outfielder is now one homer shy of tying Roger Maris’ American League single-season record of 61 home runs, set in 1961, which also stood as the major league mark for 37 years.
With his 60th home run, the 6-foot-7 Judge tied Babe Ruth (1927) for eighth place on the single-season home run list.
The Yankees play several more games this week still, giving Judge numerous opportunities to continue his record-breaking streak.