With seven games left in the Major League Baseball season, Aaron Judge needs one dinger to break Roger Maris’ single-season American League home run record.
The Yankees star hit his 61st homer Wednesday night in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Judge’s mother and Maris’ son, Roger Maris Jr., were sitting together in the stands and celebrated the tying of the AL record that was set 61 years ago.
After the game Judge met with the pair and spoke with Maris Jr. The YES Network didn’t catch the audio of the conversation, but it was still a surreal moment to see a current Yankees star with the son of a New York legend.
Judge admitted in his postgame news conference the moment was a relief and didn’t feel real, according to NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty. The Yankees star was glad the homer game in an 8-3 win, and with the Bronx Bombers already securing the division, fans will be focused on Judge breaking the record.
When he does, Maris Jr. believes he should be considered the true home run champion, per Kuty. Barry Bonds set the single-season home run record at 73 in 2001, and Mark McGuire hit 70 and 65 home runs in 1998 and 1999, respectively. But some do not consider those the “true” home run record due to Bonds’ and McGuire’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Wherever you fall on the debate, what matters is Judge will get a chance to break the AL record when New York goes back to Yankee Stadium to take on the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.