New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit his 50th home run of the season on Monday in a loss against the Los Angeles Angels, thus becoming the first player to clear that threshold since New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso launched 53 home runs in 2019. Judge and Alonso are now responsible for three of the past five 50-plus home run seasons, with Judge having also throttled past the mark on his way to 52 home runs in 2017.
Here's a look at Judge's historic blast:
Such a notable blast merits the "alternative angle" treatment:
That one off Ryan Tepera left the bat at 111.1 mph and traveled 434 feet. Like almost all of Judge's blasts, it wasn't a cheap one. Also of note:
Aaron Judge is the second player in MLB history with multiple 50-HR seasons within his first seven career seasons, joining Ralph Kiner— New York Yankees Stats (@nyyankeesstats) August 30, 2022
Judge's 2022 is the 47th individual 50-plus homer season in Major League Baseball history, and the ninth in Yankees franchise history. Here's a look at those nine seasons, ranked in descending order of total home runs hit:
Given that the Yankees still have more than a month left on their schedule, it stands to reason that Judge could make a serious run at Maris' single-season franchise mark, which is also the American League record. Of course, Judge would be entering rarified air if he just finishes with 60 home runs. There have been only eight such seasons in league history, with the most recent coming in 2001 -- that's when Barry Bonds homered 73 times to set the new single-season record. That Sammy Sosa homered 64 times that year as well often gets lost in the mix.
Coincidentally, one of Judge's teammates lays claim to being the closest anyone has gotten to 60 home runs in the past two decades. Indeed, Giancarlo Stanton fell a single homer shy in 2017, when he delivered 59 home runs over the course of 159 contests.
Judge, 30 years old, will qualify for free agency at the end of the season. Back in the spring, he rejected a seven-year extension offer worth $213 million. All he's done since is raise his stock, suggesting that he was wise to pass on New York's offer.