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Jordy’s Journal: Judge’s breaking the AL home run record is good for baseball but it’s not the all-time record

Judge broke the American League home run record Tuesday night (Oct. 4) in Texas
New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge hits his 62nd home run of the season down in Texas on Tuesday night (Oct. 4), breaking the American League single-season home run record (Photo - @ESPNStatsInfo/Twitter)

Hey, here we go, time for my first opinion piece since joining Black Press and I’m excited about it.

For anyone that knows me, or if you’re just getting to know me through here, I’m a massive baseball fan and we’re here to talk about home runs.

As a Blue Jays fan, it pains me to say this, but as a baseball fan, it’s cool to say this, congratulations to New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge for breaking the American League home run record! Judge broke the record by hitting his 62nd home run of the season down in Texas on Tuesday night (Oct. 4), beating Roger Maris’ record of 61 that he accomplished in 1961, 61 years ago (numbers in baseball are wild aren’t they?).

This is so damn cool for baseball. While hockey remains king in Canada, the NFL, some college football, and the NBA usually get more views than a typical MLB game but when someone is hitting home runs at this pace, it absolutely helps grow the game and popularize it.

Judge is the first player to reach the 60 home run in a season mark since 2001 when Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa did it (which we’ll get to in a minute). Some players in recent history came close: Giancarlo Stanton in 2017 (59), Ryan Howard in 2006 (58) and many other but no one reached the big 6-0 in 21 years.

It’s amazing for baseball to see what Judge has done this season, basically leading in every offensive category. He’s had one of the greatest seasons offensively in the recent history. And like previous mentioned, yes Judge did break a record, the American League home run record. His name is etched in history forever but the people trying to say he’s the all-time single season home run record are just plain wrong.

Steroids or not, Barry Bonds is the all-time single season home run champion when he hit 73 of them back in 2001. This isn’t an argument.

Is it a fact that Bonds (as well as Sosa and Mark McGuire) used steroids? Yes. It’s also a fact he hit 73 home runs and that can never be erased, just like how McGuire hit 70 in a season and Sosa hit 66. It can’t be erased and it would be stupid to have two separate home run categories, that just can’t exist.

I do agree that you can make the argument that baseball is much harder now with pitchers consistently throw 98 mph fastballs while the average fastball was around 90 mph back in 2001 but 73 is still the most to ever be hit in a regular season.

I’ve also seen people online argue that the last two weeks have been unfair to Judge in his pursue for 62 because ‘pitchers weren’t pitching to him”. Judge has been intentionally walked 19 times this season. Bonds, in not even the 2001 season, in the 2004 season was intentionally walked a league record 120! times.

The way Judge was going, I honestly thought he was going to at least challenge Bonds record. After a ridiculous run out of the all-star break, Judge hit home run number 43 on the season on August 1 and still had 58 games to go. He was on pace for 67 home runs, which would’ve been the third most all-time in a regular season.

While he didn’t challenge for the single-season home run record, 62 in a season is still a ridiculous achievement and the American League and no one can take that away from him. I’m so glad that the majority of baseball fans are celebrating it and realizing it’s good for the game because it is! It’s great for the game and it shouldn’t matter what team you cheer for, if you’re a real baseball fan, you want to see records be broken and celebrate this outstanding feat.

Now Judge, Ohtani, and American League MVP argument this season, well that’s for another day…

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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