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    Editorials
    Monday, November 28, 2022

    Aaron Judge: A monstrous hit

    This appeared in the New York Daily News

    That Aaron Judge’s 61st home run of the season, surpassing The Babe and tying Roger Maris, came against division rivals Toronto was so fitting. He carries on the legacy of Yankee lore of dominating the major leagues and especially the American League. And this is the magical hitting stat that matters. It mattered when Ruth achieved it in 1927 and kept the crown for 34 years. It mattered in 1961, when Maris reached the plateau and was there alone for 61 years. And it matters that Judge has arrived. The pride of the Yankees, indeed.

    No one should credit a trio of National League steroid cheaters we shall not name, one of whom should also not be acknowledged as besting Hank Aaron’s 755 career long balls.

    With seven games left, we won’t know Judge’s regular season homer total until his final at bat against the Rangers on Oct. 5.

    Unbreakable records challenge future players and exist to be broken. And Aaron Judge is a man of fine character who will wear well the laurels of the season home run king, or co-king with Maris should he fail to knock another one out of the park in the next week.

    Judge will obviously be the American League home run champ and he’s comfortably ahead in RBIs, but he’s not just looking for the big ball only; he’s in a race for the batting title with Luis Arraez from the Twins and Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox. Should he prevail, he’ll win the league’s Triple Crown, a rare feat only achieved just once — by Miguel Cabrera a decade ago — since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967.

    It’s enough to bat into immortality with a home run record like Ruth or Maris or the Triple Crown like Yaz or Cabrera. To win both in the same season is unthinkable, and it just may happen. Judge, both a superstar and a mensch, has everything going for him and millions of fans in New York and around the country rooting for him.

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