On Thursday, the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-4 to seal their spot in the 2022 postseason, but that accomplishment was overshadowed by Judge and his pursuit of greatness.
The right fielder nearly made history in the bottom of the ninth inning. The slugger’s connection was destined to reach the centerfield netting, but fell just short of Kiki Hernandez’s glove.
“Just got down to it a little bit,” Judge said after the game. “It was a beautiful windy night. I was hoping it was flying. Just missed it.”
With the Yankees qualified for the postseason and the Red Sox with nothing to play for in the season but pride, Judge will take center stage as he pulls off an amazing feat.
The 30-year-old has already equaled Babe Ruth’s total of 90 years ago and could match or surpass Mars’ 61-year-old record, cementing his place among the all-time batting greats. Can be sealed.
“I keep saying, Aaron Judge; everybody should just watch and take notice,” Yankees head coach Aaron Boone said after Judge hit his 60th HR earlier this week. “I can say this because I’ve lived this life and it’s shown: He’s focused on being a great teammate and winning. He knows everything else will take care of itself.”
Judges do not agree with this claim. Last week, he told Sports Illustrated, “Seventy-three records in my book. No matter what people want to say about that era of baseball, to me, he went out there and hit 73 homers and . . . Hit 70 homers, and that I’m the one who holds the record.
“[The] The AL record is 61, so that’s one I can try to go after. If it happens, it happens. If not, it’s been a fun year so far.”
Despite his humble demeanor, Judge is on track to become a true New York Yankee great with this season’s historic offensive performance.
As Boone said, “I think that puts it a notch above. I’ve got to believe it’s up there with some of the very short lists of the best seasons of all-time.”
CNN’s Harry Antin contributed to this report.