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Aaron Judge ties Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in a single season

The New York Yankee outfielder hit a 2-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays to put his team in the lead 5-3 and tie the all-time American League home run record.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees hits his 61st home run of the season in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Judge has now tied Roger Maris for the American League record.   Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP
Vaughn RidleyAFP

Aaron Judge went deep for the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night, tying Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season.

In the seventh inning at Rogers Centre, the 30-year-old slugger drove a full-count pitch from Tim Mayza over the left-field fence, breaking a 3-3 tie. The ball landed in the Blue Jays bullpen, just out of reach of a fan in the 100 level’s first row.

Judge broke Babe Ruth’s 1927 major league record of 60 home runs, which stood until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those lofty heights while playing for the Yankees.

In 2001, Barry Bonds set a major league record with 73 hits for the San Francisco Giants.

In addition, Judge had gone seven games without hitting a home run, his longest drought this season being nine games in mid-August. The Yankees played their 155th game of the season with seven games remaining.

For the Yankees’ player, the day started the hitting.314 with 128 RBIs, both of which were tops in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Miguel Cabrera of Detroit in 2012.

On October 1, 1961, Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ record has been broken six times, but it has been marred by the use of steroids each time. Bonds surpassed Mark McGwire, who hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year. Sammy Sosa hit 66, 65, and 63 in four seasons beginning in 1998.

McGwire admitted to using illegal steroids, but Bonds and Sosa denied using performance-enhancing drugs on purpose. Major League Baseball began testing for PEDs with penalties in 2004, and until now, some fans, perhaps many, believed Maris had the “clean” record.


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