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Aaron Judge closing in on home run history: Yankees star on pace to break Roger Maris’ record after 49th blast – CBS Sports

Back in spring training, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge rejected a very reasonable seven-year contract extension worth $213.5 million. It was a bold dec…….

Back in spring training, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge rejected a very reasonable seven-year contract extension worth $213.5 million. It was a bold decision, no doubt about it, and Judge has responded this season by doing what seemed impossible: he’s made himself more money. Some players would crack under that pressure. Judge hasn’t. He’s thrived. 

Through the Aug. 28, Judge owns a .293/.393/.655 batting line and an MLB-leading 49 home runs. He also leads the league in walks, runs scored, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, and both the FanGraphs and Baseball Reference versions of WAR. The race for the home run title isn’t much of a race at all. 

Here is the MLB home run leaderboard as of Aug. 28:

  1. Aaron Judge, Yankees: 49
  2. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies: 35
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals: 33
  4. Several tied with 31

No players has led baseball in home runs by as many as 14 — Judge’s current lead over Schwarber — since 1933, when Jimmie Foxx won the home run title with 48 homers, and Babe Ruth finished a distant second with 34.

Slugging 49 homers through 128 team games puts Judge on pace to hit 62 home runs this season (62.02, to be exact). We are now a few days away from September and Judge has maintained a home run pace that not only gives him a chance at 60 homers, but also a chance to set a new American League single-season record. That is still Roger Maris’ 61 homers with the 1961 Yankees.

“I try not to, but people keep asking me that question,” Judge told our Matt Snyder at the All-Star Game when asked whether he thinks about chasing 60 homers. “… I might have a better answer at the end of the year if it happens. If I get to that point, we can talk about it. Until then, it’s just so hard. We’re only halfway through. Only being halfway there, it’s tough to talk about.”

There is some wonderful symmetry in Judge’s pursuit of Maris’ AL home run record. Maris hit 61 homers 61 years ago in 1961. He also wore No. 9. Judge wears No. 99. Also, Judge hit his 203rd career home run on Aug. 10, the same number of homers Maris hit with the Yankees. 

“It’s always nice to see dad brought back in the public eye a little bit for his accolades in baseball. He accomplished a lot in the game. We couldn’t be more proud in what he accomplished. Sixty-one is a unique number,” Kevin Maris, one of Roger’s sons, told MLB.com in August. “… But (we) would be excited for (Judge if) he is able to achieve (the) monumental task. It’s something that is a …….

Source: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/aaron-judge-closing-in-on-home-run-history-yankees-star-on-pace-to-break-roger-maris-record-after-49th-blast/

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