Aaron Judge’s 21st dinger keeps him on pace with Yankees greats
Aaron Judge hit his 21st home run of the season Saturday as the New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 3-0.
He finished the day 1 for 3 with the home run.
Judge’s blast put him on pace with two of the Yankees legends who have hit 40 or more home runs in a single season.
Through the Yankees’ first 53 games, Ruth had 21 home runs in 1921, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930 and 1932 and Mickey Mantle hit 21 over that span in 1956. Luke Voit also did it in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic-shortened season, according to MLB.com.
Ruth had 59 home runs in 1921, 47 homers in 1926, 60 in 1927, 54 in 1928, 49 in 1930 and 41 in 1942. Mantle finished with 52 in 1956, and Voit hit 22 in 2020.
The Yankees’ outfielder is also ahead of the pace Mantle and Roger Maris set during the 1961 season in which Maris broke the home run record at the time with 61 dingers, according to MLB.com.
“It’s an honor, any time you’ve got Yankees legends like that, getting a chance to be mentioned in the same sentence or category,” Judge said after the game.
“But I’m not trying to be Maris. I’m not trying to be Ruth. I’m just trying to be the best Aaron Judge I can be.”
Judge has been the pride of the Yankees since he entered the league in 2016. In his 2017 rookie year, he led the American League with 52 home runs on his way to the Rookie of the Year award and finished second in MVP voting.
He hasn’t reached 40 home runs since then. But the pace he’s setting might get him there sooner than later.