In what has been the best season of his career by far, Aaron Judge is closing in on baseball immortality.
The New York Yankees slugger notched his 60th home run of the year on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Judge is now only one big swing away from tying Roger Maris’ long-standing American League record for most home runs in a season. He also matched Babe Ruth’s tally of 60 homers, becoming only the third Yankee in history to reach that milestone.
Addressing reporters after the game, Judge reflected on his landmark achievement. Calm as ever, he left a heartfelt message for Yankees fans.
"Getting a chance to play baseball in Yankee Stadium in a packed house on a first-place team, that's what you dream about." - Aaron Judge
What Aaron Judge has done this season goes beyond home runs. He currently holds the highest batting average (.316) in the AL. He also has a league-leading 128 RBIs to his name.
Fans were quick to flock to social media to sing Judge's praises.
Judge is due to enter free agency after this season, which is cause for anxiety among Yankees fans. They want to see their main man staying beyond 2022, and want the club to pay whatever it takes to make that happen.
Judge is in contention to win the MLB’s first Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. If successful, he would also become the first Yankee since Mickey Mantle in 1956 to accomplish that feat.
Group of friends return Aaron Judge’s 60th HR ball for free
Behind every historic home run ball, there is a scuffle in the stands vying for a priceless collectible. Such landmark balls can fetch up to millions in the market.
As expected, plenty of fans got involved in a fight for Judge’s 60th HR ball.
Eventually, it was a group of friends who claimed the bragging rights. Unexpectedly, they made the noble decision to hand the ball over to the Yankees clubhouse - for no money in return.
As a gesture of gratitude, the Yankees gifted autographed baseballs and bats to everyone in the group.
"The Group of kids that caught Aaron Judge’s 60th HR ball didn’t ask for anything in return because 'He's given so much to the organization.' They still got autographed baseballs and bats. Fleece of the Century?" - Barstool Sports
Judge’s last home run ball of the season, whatever number that turns out to be, could net a record-setting amount in the sports memorabilia market.
For more news and updates, go to the Sportskeeda Baseball page.