Roger Maris Jr. says Judge should be the ‘real home run king’ if he reaches 62
After seven days and a crap ton of walks, Aaron Judge has finally done it. Judge hit his 61st home run on Wednesday, tying Roger Maris and the American League record for the most home runs in a single season.
The home run came in the 7th inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. The two-run shot off Tim Mayza landed in the home bullpen.
Roger Maris Jr. and other members of the Maris family have been attending Yankee games ever since Judge hit number 60. He was there again Wednesday night and had the chance to personally congratulate Judge for tying the record.
Now, we know that 61 is only the AL record. Barry Bonds holds the all-time single-season record with 73 home runs in 2001. Because of the steroid allegations, there’s arguments over if his record should even count.
According to Maris Jr., his father’s record of 61 is the only legitimate number, and believes Judge should be the home run king if he reaches 62.
“I think (Judge breaking the record) means a lot not just for me, but for a lot of people. He’s clean, he’s a Yankee, he plays the game the right way. I think he gives people a chance to look at somebody who should be revered for hitting 62 home runs and not just as a guy who did it in the American League. He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ. That’s really who he is if he hits 62 and I think that’s what needs to happen. I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.”Maris Jr. said in a press conference following Judge tying the record
But Bonds isn’t the only one with a “tainted” record. Below Bonds, there’s Mark McGwire’s 70 home runs and Sammy Sosa’s 66 home runs. Like Bonds, both face PED allegations which have stirred controversy over their records. McGwire was one to come clean about taking them.
While I’m sure Judge appreciates the comments by Maris Jr., he still believes the real record is 73, just like the history book says.
“73 is the record 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.”Judge told Sports Illustrator earlier this month
Fortunately for Judge, the season isn’t quite over yet. The Yankees play seven more games before the season comes to a close, giving him more opportunities to break the record. Nevertheless, hitting 60 plus home runs in a season puts Judge in elite status.
Regardless of what Maris Jr. or anyone else says, 73 is the record. MLB isn’t going to open the history book and re-write it, nor will we ever know what other players are or were juicing. Who knows, maybe Judge has been slipping a needle in. One thing for certain, however, is that the true single-season record belongs to Bonds until someone hits number 74.
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