Aaron Judge wins 2022 American League MVP award
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge has won the 2022 American League MVP award, Major League Baseball announced Thursday.
After hitting 62 home runs this season to break the AL record, Judge easily beat out Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani in an MVP race some thought might be close.
"It's tough to put in words," Judge said in an interview on MLB Network, surrounded by his beaming wife, parents and agents. "It's an incredible moment. A lot of hard work to get to this."
The 6-foot-7 outfielder received 28 of 30 first-place votes and two seconds for 410 points from a Baseball Writers' Association of America panel. Ohtani, last year's winner, was picked first on two ballots and second on the other 28 for 280 points.
Yordan Alvarez of the World Series champion Houston Astros finished third.
Judge acknowledged feeling "extremely nervous" about the announcement.
"You never want to assume anything," he said.
Now a free agent, Judge broke the AL record of 61 homers set by Yankees slugger Roger Maris in 1961.
Judge, the tallest MVP in major league history, also led the majors in runs (133), on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686), OPS (1.111), extra-base hits (90) and total bases (391) to help the Yankees win the AL East. He tied for the big league lead with 131 RBIs and was second in the AL with a .311 batting average.
"[Judge] was incredible in every facet of the game in 2022 and put up a season that ranks with the very best of all time," Yankees Senior VP and General Manager Brian Cashman said in a statement.
"Congratulations to Aaron on one of the greatest seasons in the history of our sport. I'm grateful that I got to witness it first-hand and share in his magical year, especially given how much respect I have for him as a player and a person," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said in a statement.
In a tweet, Mayor Eric Adams said, "Number 99 is number 1 in our hearts and the rankings! Congratulations to Aaron Judge on a historic season and a well deserved MVP award."
Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt won the National League MVP award for the first time after a couple of close calls earlier in his career. Goldschmidt garnered 22 of 30 first-place votes and eight seconds for 380 points from a separate BBWAA panel.
San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado finished second with 291 points after getting seven first-place votes and 13 seconds.
Goldschmidt's teammate with the NL Central champion Cardinals, third baseman Nolan Arenado, came in third with 232 points. He was picked first on one ballot, second on two and third on 15.
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