MLB: Judge blasts 62nd homer to beat Maris record

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 05 2022 10:02 AM

New York Yankees Aaron Judge (R) hits a three-run home run off a pitch by Oakland Athletics starting pitcher JP Sears as Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy (L) looks on during the fifth inning of their MLB game at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA, 26 August 2022. John Mabanglo, EPA-EFE
New York Yankees Aaron Judge (R) hits a three-run home run off a pitch by Oakland Athletics starting pitcher JP Sears as Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy (L) looks on during the fifth inning of their MLB game at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA, 26 August 2022. John Mabanglo, EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES -- New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge smashed his 62nd home run of the season on Tuesday to finally surpass the legendary Roger Maris's long-standing American League record.

Judge, who equaled Maris's record in Toronto last week, blasted a 391-foot bomb into the stands at the Texas Rangers' Choctaw Stadium in the top of the first inning in Arlington.

The 30-year-old slugger had been stuck on 61 homers since pulling level with Maris, failing to better the record during a weekend homestand at Yankee Stadium.

Two more fruitless appearances followed during Monday's road opener against the Rangers, as well as the opening game of Tuesday's double-header.

But Judge made no mistake as he led off the hitting in Tuesday's evening game, crushing the third pitch faced from Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco.

A packed house rose to give Judge a standing ovation as he rounded the bases to be greeted by delighted teammates at home plate.

The American League record set by Maris in the 1961 season stood as the outright Major League Baseball single season home run record until it fell during the sport's steroid era of the late 1990s.

Only three men – Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa – have ever hit more home runs in a season, and all three have been tainted by allegations of steroid use.

San Francisco Giants legend Bonds holds the official Major League Baseball home run record of 73 set in the 2001 season.

The son of Roger Maris -- Roger Maris Jr. -- is among many who have called for Judge's record to be recognized as the "legitimate" single-season home run record.

"I think that's what needs to happen," Maris Jr. said last week. "I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something."

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