The New York Yankees slugger established — without debate — an American League record for most homers in a season with the 62nd home run, passing the mark fellow Yankees great Roger Maris set in 1961. Judge tied Maris’ mark on Sept. 28.
“I had a good feeling off the bat,” Judge said after the game against the Texas Rangers. “I just didn’t know where it was going to land or what it was going to hit.”
“The team we got, the guys surrounding me and the constant support from my family who have been with me there through this whole thing,” Judge said on Tuesday night. “It’s been a great honor.”
Judge also set a new record for home runs in a season that doesn’t need to be footnoted by an asterisk: While baseball historians and San Francisco Giants fans will still likely recognize the HGH-juiced totals produced by (known cheaters) Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa — who hit 73, 70, and 66 home runs while playing for their respective National League teams in those dark BALCO days — as the most home runs in one season, Judge’s feat will undoubtedly be considered MLB’s true home run mark among purists (like myself, a Yankees-despising Mets fan).
However, Judge himself has stated that Bonds’ 2001 season is the record, but he may be biased as he was a San Francisco Giants fan growing up in northern California. “Seventy-three is the record,” Judge told Sports Illustrated during his pursuit of Maris. “In my book. No matter what people want to say about that era of baseball, for me, they went out there and hit 73 homers and 70 homers, and that to me is what the record is.” Agree to disagree.