Aaron Judge had a very important decision to make this Major League Baseball offseason.
The reigning American League MVP tested free agency for the first time in his career before ultimately re-signing with the New York Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract. The San Francisco Giants — the California native’s hometown club — were among the other teams that reportedly pursued Judge.
But there’s another difficult decision Judge faces every offseason: Choosing a walk-up song.
“This is by far the toughest decision any baseball player has to make in the offseason,” Judge said earlier this week on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” “I’m telling you, I make a whole playlist. I have about 30-40 songs. I’m in my car. My wife gets mad at me. Because I’ll be sitting there and I’ll be like, ‘Now batting, number 99, Aaron Judge,’ and play it. And then I’ll start it over and be like, ‘What’d you think? Was that it? No? OK, next one, next one.’ It’s a long process.”
Judge used “Hello” by Pop Smoke before at-bats last season. And clearly, it worked out well for the Yankees slugger, who launched an AL record 62 home runs while totaling 131 RBIs and posting a 1.111 OPS.
No one would blame Judge if he tried to keep everything the same in 2023, with an eye toward replicating his 2022 success. But perhaps he’ll find something new that tickles his fancy and keeps the experience fresh for fans at Yankee Stadium.