ARLINGTON, Texas — Aaron Judge took a smooth, mighty swing, then broke into a big smile as he trotted around the bases. Heading home, his teammates backed away, letting him touch the plate alone.
At last, the New York Yankees slugger had the American League home run record all to himself.
Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris' American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball's "clean" standard.
"In my book, it's just another day," the stoic Judge said.
Judge said he felt "quite a few emotions" after connecting, thinking about his family and fans and supporters. He said it would probably be after the season until he'd truly soak in and appreciate the significance of his achievement.
After slamming his helmet in a rare show of frustration when he went without a homer in the first game of the doubleheader in Texas, Judge hit the third pitch of the nightcap into the first row of seats in left field.
That trip around the bases after a long chase was certainly a mixture of pure joy and relief for No. 99, whose only homer in the previous 13 games had been.
Judge did it just in time, too, homering on the next-to-last day of the regular season.
"There's definitely a little pressure in there," he said.
Barry Bonds holds the major league record of 73 home runs, set with the San Francisco Giants in 2001.
Judge's milestone ball was caught by Cory Youmans of Dallas, who was sitting in Section 31. When asked what he was going to do with the ball while being taken away with security to have the ball authenticated, Youmans responded, "Good question. I haven't thought about it."
Asked after the 3-2 loss if he'd gotten the ball, Judge said, "not yet."
"I don't know where it's at. It'd be great to get it back," he said.
Judge also praised the fan for making a "great catch" and said the man had every right to keep the prized souvenir.
Another fan was escorted away after leaping over the rail into a gap between the seats and the left-field wall. The crowd of 38,832 was Texas' third sellout of the season.
Almost as soon as Judge connected on a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesús Tinoco, his Yankees teammates streamed out of the dugout to celebrate with him. But they stayed away from home plate — leaving him to step on it before sharing hugs and high-fives.
New York wound up losing 3-2 after winning the opener 5-4. With one game left in the regular season, the split left the Yankees with a fitting 99-62 record — Judge's number and his home run total.
Judge's mother and father were in the stands to see the 30-year-old outfielder end a five-game homerless streak, including the earlier game Tuesday when he was 1 for 5 with a single.
The Maris family wasn't in Texas after following Judge around for a while, but Roger Maris Jr. tweeted, "Congratulations to Aaron Judge and his family on Aaron's historic home run number 62! It has definitely been a baseball season to remember. You are all class and someone who should be revered. For the MAJORITY of the fans, we can now celebrate a new CLEAN HOME RUN KING!!"
When the top of the first ended, and Judge went to take his place in right field, he carried the glove and cap of first baseman DJ LeMahieu, who patted him on the back.
The fans in right field cheered Judge loudly while he warmed up by tossing a ball back and forth with center fielder Harrison Bader. Judge then provided another souvenir ball when he tossing the one he had warmed up with several rows deep.
Judge, eligible to become a free agent after this season, struck out on a full-count pitch when batting again in the second.
He took his spot right field in the bottom of the inning before manager Aaron Boone pulled him from the game. Oswaldo Cabrera, who had been at second base, moved to right field and the slugger got another loud ovation as he jogged back to the Yankees dugout on the third base side.
Reaction quickly came from far beyond the ballpark.
"History made, more history to make," President Joe Biden posted on Twitter.
Tweeted former Yankees star Derek Jeter: "Congrats @TheJudge44 on 62! Postseason next!!!"
Former President Bill Clinton also tweeted congratulations, as did former MLB players like Paul O'Neill, Dwight Gooden, Dave Winfield and Ryan Howard.
Maris' 61 for the Yankees had been exceeded six times previously, but all were tainted by the stench of steroids. Along with Bonds' record, Mark McGwire hit 70 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 for the Chicago Cubs during a four-season span starting in 1998.
McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans — perhaps many — until now have considered Maris as holder of the legitimate record.
A Ruthian figure with a smile as outsized as his body, the 6-foot-7 Judge has rocked the major leagues with a series of deep drives that hearken to the sepia tone movie reels of his legendary pinstriped predecessors.
The doubleheader nightcap in Texas was his 55th game in row Judge had played since Aug. 5.
He had gone 3 for 17 with five walks and a hit by pitch since moving past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league record for 34 years. Maris hit his 61st off Boston's Tracy Stallard at old Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1, 1961.
Judge has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in 2012. He leads the AL with 131 RBIs and began the day trailing Minnesota's Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315.
With the home run and the strikeout in Game 2, he was hitting .311, right where he had started the day before dropping a point in the opener.
Judge's accomplishment will cause endless debate.
"To me, the holder of the record for home runs in a season is Roger Maris," author George Will said earlier this month. "There's no hint of suspicion that we're seeing better baseball than better chemistry in the case of Judge. He's clean. He's not doing something that forces other players to jeopardize their health."
Judge hits 62nd HR, Cole Ks record as Yankees split in Texas
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge led off the nightcap with and Gerrit Cole set the franchise single-season strikeouts record even as New York lost 3-2 to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night for a doubleheader split.
Leody Taveras hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning of the second game to put the Rangers ahead to stay, after their 5-4 loss in the opener had extended their losing streak to seven games. The AL East champion Yankees have won 99 games, the Rangers 67.
New Yorkers celebrate Aaron Judge's record
When Aaron Judge hit his record home run Tuesday night, fans across the Tri-State Area went wild.
"I told you it was happening the first at-bat," fan Enrique Blandino told CBS2's Dick Brennan.
"I looked up and I was like, oh my god, it's gone. This is amazing. Judge is the best. Go Yanks. Let's hope we roll this into the post-season and get us into the World Series," fan Alex Crawford said.
"We waited too long for this moment right here ... This is Judge's time to do this right here, guys. Celebrate this moment. Cheers to everyone," Blandino said.
"And his mom was, she's in the stadium, so she even saw it as well. That's the best thing," fan David Rios said.
"It's been a long time coming. We're more than ecstatic. I think it's gonna be a huge monkey off his back heading into the post-season. We're pretty happy to be Yankee fans today with 62," fan Colin Gerner said.
Yankees fans thrilled to be in Texas to witness history
Some lucky Yankees fans were in Arlington, Texas, to witness Aaron Judge hit his record-breaking home run in person Tuesday night, and it's a game they sure won't forget.
"We're still in shock. We're still, like, sitting there debating, like, I can't believe we get to see this," said Scott Fertitta, from Staten Island.
"What does it mean to be in the ballpark to witness history?" CBS2's Otis Livingston asked.
"As a Yankee fan all my life, it means a lot," Fertitta said.
"I'm still on cloud nine. This is unbelievable. It's like, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance," said Frank Fertitta, from Staten Island
"Oh, it's amazing to be here to see Aaron Judge hit 62 after 61 years, Roger Maris, all the history in New York? I'm at home. I feel like I'm at home. I feel like I'm in the Bronx right now," said Kwabena Mensah, from the Bronx.
New York's pro sports teams congratulate Judge
The Yankees weren't the only ones celebrating Aaron Judge's record-breaking home run Tuesday night. New York's other professional sports teams took to Twitter to offer their congratulations.
Roger Maris Jr. congratulates Judge
Roger Maris' son, Roger Maris Jr., took to Twitter to congratulate Aaron Judge on breaking the American League home run record Tuesday night, saying in part, "You are all class and someone who should be revered."
In another tweet, he added, "If Judge stays at 62 home runs I will say that 62 in 22 has a great ring to it … much like 61 in 61."
Empire State Building celebrates Judge's record
The Empire State Building lit up Tuesday night in celebration of Judge's historic home run.
Judge goes 1-for-5 in doubleheader opener, remains at 61
Aaron Judge had five plate appearances during the opening game of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, but he did not hit a home run.
That means he now has just two games left to break the tie with Roger Maris for the American League single-season record. His next chance to hit his 62nd homer will come in the nightcap, which starts just after 8 p.m.
The Yankees, who won the opener 5-4 and now have 99 wins, conclude the regular season on Wednesday.
Judge down to 3 games to break record
Judge has gone without a homer in four games, and his only one in the last 12 was No. 61 on Wednesday in Toronto that tied Roger Maris' American League record. He went 1 for 4 with an infield single against Texas, and is 2 for 12 with five walks and a hit by pitch since that last long ball.
Judge take chase for 62 to Texas
Judge's chase for history continues Monday. The Yankees' slugger has 61 home runs with four games left to break the American League single-season record.
CBS2's Otis Livingston reports from Texas.
Aaron Judge struggles mightily in final regular season home game
Aaron Judge struck out three times and walked once.
The slugger remains tied with Roger Maris for the American League single-season home run record. He will have potentially four chances to hit No. 62 this week as the Yankees conclude the regular season with a four-game series in Arlington, Texas, against the Rangers.
The teams will play single games on Monday and Wednesday, with a doubleheader sandwiched in between.
Yankees star Judge tries again for AL-record 62nd home run
A look at Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees as he approaches major home run milestones:
Season HR Total: 61
Saturday's Game: Went 0 for 2, striking out twice, walking twice and getting hit by a pitch in an 8-0 win over Baltimore. He fouled off a pair of 3-0 pitches his last two times up. Judge also is bidding for the first Triple Crown since Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Judge leads the AL with 130 RBIs and is batting .313.
Sunday's Matchup: In their final home game of the regular season, the Yankees face Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish (4-7, 5.11 ERA).
Current HR Pace: Judge is on pace to hit 62.9 home runs this season.
Next HR: Judge's next home run would move him one ahead of Maris. The Yankees have five games remaining in the regular season.
Judge stays at 61 homers on 61st anniversary of Maris' 61st
The numbers were aligned for. The pitches were not.
Judge remained at 61 home runs on the 61st anniversary of Roger Maris' 61st — he even came to the plate at the exact time Maris went deep.
Just eight of 25 Baltimore's pitches to Judge were strikes. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch on an 0-for-2 afternoon, sparking a three-run first and a four-run seventh in the New York Yankees' 8-0 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Judge has 1 game left to break record at Yankee Stadium
Aaron Judge went 0-2 with two walks and a strikeout in the Yankees' 8-0 win over the Orioles on Saturday.
New York has just one home game left in regular season and Judge needs one home run to set a new American League record.
After that, the Yankees head to Texas for their final four games of the regular season.
Aaron Judge stays at 61 homers as Orioles beat Yankees
Aaron Judge didn't come close to hitting his 62nd home run, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks as the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 2-1 on Friday night.
One game after tying the American League home run record that Yankees star Roger Maris set in 1961, Judge struck out in the first inning, singled in the third and walked in the sixth against Jordan Lyles, then was intentionally walked in the eighth by rookie Félix Bautista.
Judge has six games left: two this weekend against the Orioles and then four at Texas that end the regular season.
Fans in outfield dream of catching Judge's 62nd HR
Yankees fans are hoping Aaron Judge makes history this weekend at Yankee Stadium, CBS2's Steve Overmyer reported Friday.
The most coveted seats for the series against the Orioles are in the outfield, where fans are dreaming of catching Judge's record-breaking 62nd home run of the season.
Judge has nine home runs in 15 games against the Orioles this season - the most he's hit against any team.
See It: Judge ties Maris for AL record
Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris' American League record of 61 home runs in a season with a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the seventh inning that lifted the New York Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 on Wednesday night.
The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza (8-1) over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.