Anchor Staff Writer
Sports history was made on Oct. 4 when New York Yankee Aaron Judge set a new AL record of 62 home runs in a single season, breaking the original record set by fellow Yankee Roger Maris in 1961. Many MLB fans consider this to be the true league record for home runs in a season due to rampant performance-enhancing drug usage found in baseball, and amongst the top of the leaderboard.
Barry Bonds’ 2001 record setting year, which saw him hit 73 home runs, is now forever tainted due to evidence of PED usage found during his career. Alongside Bonds, both Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, who chased the record around the turn of the millenia, either admitted or were proven to be using steroids. Still, Judge considers the true title to be owned by Bonds, and he spoke on this as well as his admiration for Bonds, saying, “The record’s the record, That’s what I go by. I watched him as a kid flip the ball into the bay with ease. That hasn’t changed.”
Judge was also quoted saying, “No one can take that away from him.”
The record-setting moment came in Game 1 of a double header against the Texas Rangers. Judge hit a leadoff spot 391-foot bomb into Left Field on a 1-1 count in the top of the first inning, sealing his place as first in AL history, and Yankee History, as well as seventh on the all-time list. This historic night came three days after the 61st anniversary of the day Maris passed fellow Yankee Babe Ruth with his 61st home run. Sitting ahead of Judge in the record books are the aforementioned players Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa, which sees the top three spots held by their career highs between 1998-2001 in which the trio hit for 73, 70, and 66 respectively. The remaining three spots consist of McGwire’s 1999 season where he hit 65 home runs, and two slots held by Sosa, his 2001 campaign where he trailed Bonds with 64 and 1999 where he trailed McGwire with 63.
Judge now leads the Yankees into the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians, with Game one set to begin the series on Oct. 11. He and the rest of New York will look to capitalize off his legendary regular season performance with a deep playoff run and possible 28th World Series title.