TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris' American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning that led them over 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 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.
Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.
"I was hoping it would get over the fence. I didn't know at first. I didn't want to be standing at home plate when it hits the wall," Judge said. "It's an incredible honor. There' was a lot of emotions. It took me a little longer than I wanted to."
The ball dropped into Toronto's bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.
Judge's mother Patty and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base.
"I'm nothing without my family," Judge said. "Getting to share this moment with my mom and also try to give a little nod to Roger Maris Jr., it means a lot that he shows up here."
Judge was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.
"That was pretty cool. I wasn't expecting it," Judge said.
Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.
Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.
Judge had gone seven games without a home run — his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees' 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.
The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.
Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in 2012.
Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.
Maris' mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 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 the holder of the "clean" record.
Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium's center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.
Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.
As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees' offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.
An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.
Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.
He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL's first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris' 61 in 1961.
Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team's schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games "there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth's record was set under a 154-game schedule."
That "distinctive mark" became known as an "asterisk" and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.
Judge ties Maris AL mark with 61st HR, lifts Yanks over Jays
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.
Here comes the Judge
CBS2's Otis Livingston was in Rogers Centre in Toronto when Aaron Judge hit his historic 61st home run.
Judge is now officially part of baseball royalty
No sport embraces statistics like baseball.
Numbers like 56 and 61 have, for decades, been marks every player dreams of chasing.
There was a time when 60 home runs was the impossible dream. Not just for its achievement, but for who it represented. The legend of Babe Ruth transcends baseball, as he grew to mythological status.
When Roger Maris topped it in 1961, that too was considered untouchable. In the minds of many historians, it's still the true and unvarnished record.
Aaron Judge has now reached that lofty goal.
Judge is now putting the finishing touches on one of the greatest seasons in baseball history. And he's doing it in a season where the home run total is down. The major league average is one home run per game of both teams combined. That's the lowest in seven years.
It has been 61 years since Maris hit 61 homers in 1961. Some now consider Judge the true home run king. But even if you don't choose to bend the knee, Aaron Judge is now officially part of baseball royalty.
Aaron Judge reveling in AL East title, says winning more important than HR record
CBS2's Otis Livingston was right in the middle of the festivities and has more on the slugger's pursuit of Roger Maris' AL homer record.
The Yankees arrived in Toronto with two things on their minds, winning the division on the second-place Blue Jays' home field and watching Judge tie and hopefully break Maris' record.. The mission was accomplished on the division front, and 61 could be accomplished Wednesday night, because Judge is in the lineup, batting leadoff as designated hitter.
His home run drought continued during the 5-2 win on Tuesday night, but there was anything but a drought in the clubhouse after the Yankees clinched the 20th division title in franchise history. The beer and champagne flowed generously.
So it has now been eight days and seven games since Judge hit number 60, but what Yankee fans should appreciate is that No. 99 is team first. The most important thing to him is winning and he's playing winning baseball. A leadoff hitter is supposed to get on base, and that's exactly what he did Tuesday night, walking four times scoring two runs. He said after a roller coaster season for the team, he's going to savor the division title.
"This is a great start. It's step one. Going into spring training, all the hard work, the goal to go out there and win a World Series, and the first step is to win our division, so to get a chance to do this with this group, it's something special," Judge said.
"How sweet is it after the little slump you guys had to right the ship and now celebrate?" Livingston asked.
"It only makes us stronger. Every good team goes through that. Everyone is gonna have ups and downs, but it's how you respond day in and day out," Judge said. "When you have 26-28 guys like that ... makes it special."
"Knowing the team player you are, you have to be excited about winning this even though you haven't gotten the historic home run record yet," Livingston said.
"That'll come. The reason why I came to the Yankees was to help us win games. Anything I can do, if it's hitting a homer, taking a big walk to set up for Rizzo, I'm gonna do it," Judge said.
Yankees star Judge stays 1 homer shy of Maris' AL mark of 61
A look at Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees as he approaches major home run milestones:
Season HR Total: 60
Tuesday's Game: Went 0 for 1 with four walks in a 5-2 win at Toronto that clinched the AL East for the Yankees. Judge has gone seven games without a home run and remains short of the AL record of 61 set by Roger Maris of the Yankees in 1961. Judge's longest homer drought this season was nine games in mid-August. Judge continues to lead the league in batting average (.314), RBIs (128) and home runs in his bid to win the Triple Crown.
Wednesday's Matchup: The Yankees wrap up their three-game trip to Toronto. Right-hander Mitch White (1-6, 5.12 ERA) is set to start for the Blue Jays.
Current HR Pace: Judge is on pace to hit 63.1 home runs this season.
Next HR: Judge's next home run would tie him with Maris. The Yankees have eight games remaining in the regular season.
Judge 4 walks, still at 60 HR; Yankees top Jays, win AL East
Aaron Judge walked four times and stayed at 60 home runs, one shy of Roger Maris' American League record, as the New York Yankees clinched the AL East title by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Tuesday night.
The Yankees celebrated their 20th division championship, tied for second-most with the Dodgers behind Atlanta's 21, but not home run history. New York (95-59) secured a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the Division Series.
Home run drought continues ... but for how long?
The home run drought continued Monday for Aaron Judge.
It has now been seven days since the big fella hit #60 at Yankee Stadium.
Be careful, though. Don't call this a slump. The guy is still on pace for the triple crown with a .314 batting average, 128 RBIs to go along with the 60 long balls - a remarkable achievement.
We thought the change of scenery would help, but not so far. Some think the pressures of doing it in front of the home fans might have added more pressure last week, but Judge says there's no place like home.
"Nothing is like Yankee Stadium, that's for sure. I know the Rogers Centre here gets pretty loud, pretty packed. And nothing like Yankee Staidum, but it just felt like a normal game for me, just like the past couple days," Judge said.
But it didn't seem like a normal game for Blue Jays superstar Vlad Guerrero, Jr. who got the walk-off hit in the 10th inning to prevent the Yankees from clinching the division title and kept the champagne on ice.
So it appears some might be bothered by all the attention Judge is getting, and some opposing pitchers may not want the attention of giving up record-tying and record-breakign home runs. That may also have something do with the home run drought, according to Yankees pitcher Luis Severino. Judge was walked Twice in Monday night's game.
"As a pitcher, I don't want to be the guy who gives up number 61. So they have to be very careful with him, because he's a power hitter. He's a good hitter having a great season. So I think everybody is trying to don't get on that list," Severino said.
Judge homerless streak grows to 6 games
Aaron Judge went 1-for-3 with two walks.
The slugger has now gone six games without a home run and remains one behind Roger Maris' single-season AL record of 61.
The Yankees' magic number to clinch the AL East remains at 1. They have nine games left in the regular season.
Judge's home run chase continues in Toronto
With every ball thrown to Aaron Judge, the crowd is already on its feet, hoping to witness history, but aside from a few close calls, the home run chase has hit a snag for the past five games.
Sunday night, he faced another obstacle: weather. Judge lost a few valuable at bats because of the rain-shortened victory against the Red Sox.
As CBS2's Otis Livingston reports, he is stuck on 60, showing the world hitting home runs is not as easy as he can make it look.
"It's tough. I mean, you can ask any hitter around the league. It's... it's not easy," Judge said.
His longest home run drought of the season is nine games, so we have to believe it's just a matter of time before he reaches 61 and 62. There are still 10 games left in the season.
But all through this remarkable home run chase, Judge has genuinely kept a team-first mentality, and the team has a great opportunity Monday night; a win over the Blue Jays and they clinch the American League East division title.
"Playing for the Yankees and first place and getting a chance to clinch the division here in a couple days, there's no better feeling, you know, so just trying to soak in every single day with these guys, every single moment. Like I said, this is stuff you dream about as a kid," Judge said.
His family was at every game last week at Yankee Stadium, so are his parents making the trip north of the border?
"Oh yeah, I hope so. They're retired, they got nothing to do, so they better be there," Judge said.
Yankees game called due to rain, Judge's pursuit of 61 continues
Aaron Judge will continue his pursuit of Roger Maris' AL record of 61 homers on Monday in Toronto,.
Judge, who was set to lead off the bottom of the seventh before the rain moved in, doubled on the first pitch he saw in the first and finished the night 1-for-2. He remains at 60 homers, with 10 games to play.
The Yankees' magic number for clinching the AL East is 1.
Yankees fans confident Judge will break record soon
Fans at Yankee Stadium and sports bars across New York City were hoping to witness history Saturday, and although it didn't happen this game, they're confident it will soon.
As CBS2's Dave Carlin reports, the last name "Judge" was everywhere you looked in and around the stadium.
"Whenever Judge comes to bat, we gotta be quiet and wait for him to hit it out," Hunts Point resident Vinny Sosa said. "It didn't happen today. I'm upset about that."
Some had to tell fellow fans to be patient.
"We expect him to get it. We hope it's against Boston," said Steve Vanderlinden, from Oradell, New Jersey.
Laura Clark, of the Upper East Side, had her Judge jersey and faith she'll see him triumph in person.
"Yes, good vibes, positive vibes," she said. "I have to come again because I have to be here for it. I have to be here for it. So I'll just keep coming until it happens."
Even Red Sox fans who were denied Saturday's win do not deny Judge. That would be unsportsmanlike.
"I'm OK with Judge," said Graham Bonebrake, a Red Sox fan from Norwalk, Connecticut.
"Judge is going to win AL MVP, so what are you gonna do about it? Just gotta sit back and watch, enjoy greatness," said Red Sox fan Brendan Roach, from Worcester, Massachusetts.
"We had a great time. We're glad we got the whole family out there today to see him during the chase and make some memories we won't forget," Vanderlinden said.
"Yeah, I'm coming tomorrow. It's gonna happen tomorrow," Sosa said. "Tickets are expensive because of Judge's record."
Ticket prices more than doubled in the past few days, and more and more Judge merch is being sold as the player goes after the record. Day after day, swing after swing, cash registers ring.
Owners of local sports bars and the owners of memorabilia shops had one thing to say about all of this: thank you, Mr. Judge.
Judge still at 60, homerless in 4th straight, Yanks win
Aaron Judge tried to hold up his swing on a 2-2 fastball from Boston's John Schreiber that was darting high and outside through the afternoon shadows.
Chris Conroy signaled strike three, and Judge pointed his left arm at the first base umpire, then waved in disgust toward the ump while walking back to the Yankees dugout.
"Judgy reacts. He just doesn't go argue with you," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Saturday after Judge went homerless for the fourth straight game and remained one shy of Roger Maris' American League record of 61. "It was a case of he felt like he held a swing, A simple reaction, but he was locked right back in."
New York beat the Red Sox 7-5 to close in on its first AL East title since 2019, getting a tiebreaking, two-run homer from Anthony Rizzo in the seventh off Schreiber (3-4).
Fans hopeful it'll happen Saturday
Will Saturday be the day?
Fans are bubbling with excitement as the Yankees gear up to take on the Red Sox.
The game starts at 1:05 p.m.
It has been three games since Judge hit home run number 60 for the season. He remains just one home run shy of Roger Maris' American League record
Judge stuck at 60 home runs, Yankees beat Red Sox
It's only been a few days since Aaron Judge went deep. It just feels like more, with history hanging on his every swing.
Judge was held without a home run for the third straight game, keeping him at 60 for the season and one shy of Roger Maris' American League record, but the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Friday night.
How to watch Yankees-Red Sox on Apple TV+
Judge's next crack at history comes on Friday night against the Red Sox in the Bronx.
The game starts at 7:05 p.m. and will be streamed exclusively on Apple TV+. It won't be on YES or MLB.tv.
Judge needs one home run to tie Roger Maris' single-season record.
Fans hope to witness history at Yankee Stadium
Aaron Judge gets another chance Friday night to either tie or break the home run record. CBS2's Dick Brennan spoke to fans at Yankee Stadium who are hoping to witness history.
New York Attorney General Letitia James calls on MLB to let the show air on television
New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling on Major League Baseball to allow the show to run on the YES Network.
The game is set to be carried.
"History is in the making as Aaron Judge electrifies Yankees fans, and everyone who loves baseball. To deny millions of New Yorkers, and fans around the nation, the opportunity to watch as Aaron Judge steps up to the plate, is wrong and unfair. New Yorkers paid their cable bills expecting to see live sports programming. Now they are being asked to pay extra if they want to watch this exciting home run chase, and potentially historic game. That is why I am calling on Apple and the MLB to reach a fair accommodation with the YES Network so that fans can watch what we all hope will be history made this evening," James said in a statement.
In a later statement, James added this:
"Earlier, I expressed concerns about how New Yorkers could watch tonight's potentially historic Yankees game. While there is a way to watch the game without paying more, it creates requirements including an Apple ID, a smart TV or streaming device, or Wi-Fi or cellular service," James wrote on Twitter.
Anticipation building after Judge almost ties Maris' record
It was the shot almost heard around the world.
The center field fence at Yankee Stadium measures 408 feet. Judge's fly ball traveled an estimated 404 feet. Just a few feet beyond is Monument Park and Roger Maris' number nine. But now, #99 will have to wait until Friday night to try and connect the two at 61.
"Got underneath it a little bit. It was a pretty windy night, but I was hoping it was kind of blowing out the time I was hitting, but just missed it," Judge said Thursday night.
"I felt like he just got underneath it enough, and obviously being big in center and on a cool night, but you're always hopeful when he hits it, because his tend to go a little bit further," said manager Aaron Boone.
A home run tracker on Twitter posted that the baseball exploded off the bat at 113 miles per hour - the hardest ball hit all game - and would've been a home run in 13 of the 30 major league ballparks.
It was still a very productive night for Judge and the Yankees. The walk-off win against the Red Sox clinched their sixth straight post-season appearance.
"Step one. Just step one of many steps to come, that's for sure," Judge said.
And in case you needed a reminder of all of Judge's otherworldly talents, he made a perfect throw to second in the ninth inning of a tie game to stop a leadoff double.
Aaron Judge goes 0-for-2, with 3 walks in Yankees' win
Aaron Judge came within a few feet of tying Roger Maris' single season American League home run record on Thursday night, but his 404-foot drive in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox was caught at the wall.
Judge, who still sits at 60 homers, finished the 5-4, 10-inning win 0-for-2 with three walks.
Fans hope Thursday night is the night for Aaron Judge
Judge stuck at 60 HRs as Yankees rout Pirates
A sellout crowd of 46,175 groaned as Aaron Judge left the batter's box in the first and fifth innings.
"Fans packed it out to see us win a ballgame and see some homers," he said with a widening smile and a twinkle in his eyes, "so I think I got to cut out this double stuff, I guess."
Judge remained at 60 home runs, one shy of Roger Maris' American League record, hitting two doubles with a walk in Wednesday night's 14-2 blowout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Fan returns Aaron Judge's 60th home run ball
One lucky fan in the stands at Yankee Stadium managed to grab Aaron Judge's 60th home run ball Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old New Yorker could have kept it but didn't. Instead, he decided he wanted to give the ball back to Judge.
"Just wanted to give him back, that's history, so any way I could give back to Judge, given so much to the organization, just do my part," Michael Kessler said.
The fan didn't walk away empty-handed. He got to meet Judge, who signed a bat and other baseballs for him.
Judge also took pictures with the fan and his friends.
Aaron Judge sets his sights on home run number 61
Once again, Yankee Stadium is the center of the sports world. Folks in the stands have a chance to see history, but it comes at a price; tickets were going for up to $1,300.
As CBS2's Otis Livingston reports, Aaron Judge stands next to Babe Ruth in the history books with an absolutely remarkable 60 home runs. Only five other Major League players have reached that magical number.
Now he sets his sights on number 61 -- a mark so famous, a movie was made about it.
Of course, the legendary Yankee Roger Maris holds the American League record, his family on hand all week at the stadium until Judge breaks the record.
There are 15 games left, and Judge is on fire with five home runs in his last six games, so who knows? Maybe Barry Bonds' all-time mark of 73 could be in jeopardy.
"I wouldn't have necessarily thought 60 going into the year at this point either, so I guess I'll put nothing past him," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
"When you talk about Ruth and Maris and [Mickey] Mantle and all these, you know, Yankees greats that, you know, did so many great things in this game, you never imagine as a kid getting mentioned with them. But, you know, it's an incredible honor," Judge said.
Teammate Giancarlo Stanton once hit 59 homers in a season himself, so he knows what it takes. He also knows Judge is far from finished.
"He hit 60 tonight and it's like nothing happened ... He's got more work to do and that's the mindset," Stanton said Tuesday.
"We're not done. We still got a couple games left in the season. Hopefully a few more wins come with 'em," Judge said.
The first Pirate who will try to keep Judge from tying Maris will be Roansy Contreras. He was actually a part of the Yankee minor league system before being traded to Pittsburgh. The two have never faced off, so we'll see who has the advantage.
Catching a record-breaking home run ball can be life changing, as NYC family found out 61 years ago
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge could make history on Wednesday night.
No. 99 is one home run away from tying the American League record of 61, a mark set by Roger Maris 61 years ago.
As CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported, it's a moment so big, it can change lives. He spoke to Tom Durante, whose father caught Maris' 61st home run ball.
Fans excited ahead of Wednesday night's game
Yankee fans are on a high.
"They've been doing an awesome job. The 60th he had last night was amazing for the team," one fan said.
They're hoping Tuesday night's win against the Pirates becomes a pattern for the team.
"We've hit a rough patch over the last month or two, so just want to head into October strong and finally bring the World Series back here," one fan said.
"They usually get more excited towards the end of the season. Maybe this will be the year we get the World Series for once," said another.
The star of the show: Aaron Judge., matching the record set by Babe Ruth back in 1927.
Judge now has 15 games remaining to match and surpass the American League record of 61 home runs set by former Yankees player Roger Maris.
"He's the best player we've had in years," one fan said.
"Who's not hoping to see 61 from Arron Judge? Of course," said another.
Tickets for Wednesday night's game against the Pirates are tripling in price, according to Vivid Seats.
"For the bleacher seats, where fans will have a chance to potentially snag a price of memorabilia, those are starting at $100," said Stephen Spiewak of Vivid Seats.
Sellers say fans are snagging tickets not just to watch the game, but to see history in the making.
"The crowd has such a roar to them, and brings so much life to everyone that comes to watch. I'm enjoying the games," one person said.
"Fans want to be there, to be able to say years from now 'I was at the game when Judge hit 61, 62 and so on," Spiewak said.
All those bleacher seats might just be worth it. Some experts predict whoever catches that 61 ball could bring home about $1 million.