On Thursday, the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-4 to seal a 2022 postseason berth, but that accomplishment was halted by Judge and his quest for greatness.
The right fielder nearly made history in the bottom of the ninth inning. The slugger’s connection looked to reach center net, but it fell narrowly into the gloves of Kiké Hernández.
“I went under a little bit,” the judge said after the game. “It was a pretty windy night. I was hoping it was blowing. I missed it.”
With the Yankees qualified for the postseason and the Red Sox not playing for anything other than pride in the season, Judge will take center stage as he looks for an amazing accomplishment.
The 30-year-old has matched Babe Ruth’s total from more than 90 years ago and could equal or surpass Maris’ 67-year-old record, sealing his place among the all-time great hitters.
“I say it over and over again, Aaron Judge; everybody should watch it and take notice,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said earlier this week after Judge hit his 60th HR. “I can say this because I’ve lived through it and he’s shown it: he’s focused on being a great teammate and winning. He knows he’s going to take care of everything else.”
The judge disagrees with that statement. Last week, he told Sports Illustrated, “Seventy-three is a record in my book. It doesn’t matter what people say about that era of baseball, to me, they went out there and hit 73 and 70 homers, and that. I’m the record.”
“[The] The AL record is 61, so I can try to chase it. If it happens, it happens. If not, it’s been a fun year so far.”
Despite his humble demeanor, Judge is on the verge of becoming a great New York Yankee with his historic hitting streak this season.
Boone said, “I think it kicks it up a notch. I believe it’s up there with some of the best shortstops of all-time.”
CNN’s Harry Enten contributed to this report.