Should Yankees slugger Aaron Judge be viewed as Major League Baseball’s single-season home run king if he can hit another round tripper over New York’s final three games? Roger Maris Jr. seems to think so.
Judge, who could in the midst of a triple-crown campaign, blasted his 61st home run on the 2022 season on Sept. 28, tying Roger Maris’ AL record. That 61 number is not the MLB record, however. In fact, it wouldn’t even rank in the top five seasons. Barry Bonds (73, 2001), Mark McGwire (70, 1998; 65, 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66, 1998; 64, 2001; 63, 1999) are all recognized by MLB as players who have had better home run-hitting seasons. They all have also been identified as steroid users.
That rubs Maris Jr. the wrong way, and he’s letting everyone know about it.
“Baseball should consider making two separate home run records. PED home runs and home runs. Baseball’s commissioner established separate home run records in 1961. Babe Ruth was credited as the home run king with 60. Roger Maris was credited for his 61 separately under 162 games,” Maris Jr. tweeted Sunday, stating the MLB should “do the right thing” and crown Judge as the king if he can hit one more.
Funny enough, Judge himself — who grew up rooting for Bonds and the San Francisco Giants — believes that Bonds’ record of 73 home runs still is the mark to beat.
Another ironic layer to this whole situation is the fact Maris Jr. was their to celebrate with McGwire when he became the first player to break Maris’ then-MLB record mark in 1998. The steroid “Androstenedione” was found in McGwire’s locker by a reporter earlier that season. That didn’t seem to bother him at the time.
Judge will have four more cracks at breaking the AL record as the Yankee open a four-game set with the Texas Rangers on Monday.