ARLINGTON, Texas – Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees broke the American League record for home runs in a season on Tuesday night, hitting his 62nd round-tripper to surpass the mark set 61 years ago by Roger Maris.
Judge connected off Texas Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco on the third pitch of the game at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, to break the A.L. record, which was set when Maris homered off Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard on Oct. 1, 1961, at New York’s old Yankee Stadium. Maris broke the major league record held by another Yankees star, Babe Ruth, who hit 60 homers in 1927.
Judge hit his record-breaking home run in the second game of a day-night doubleheader, sending a 391-foot slider from Tinoco into the left-field stands. He went 1-for-5 in the first game earlier Tuesday.
Ruth and Maris both hit their record-breaking home runs at Yankee Stadium. Judge failed to top the mark in New York’s final homestand of the 2022 season as the Yankees traveled to Texas for their final four regular-season games.
Judge hit No. 62 in the Yankees’ next-to-last game of the regular season. He hit his 61st homer in New York’s 155th game and tied Ruth with his 60th home run in game No. 147.
“It’s a big relief. I think that everyone can sit back down in their seats and watch the ball game, you know? No, but it’s been a fun ride so far,” Judge told reporters after the game, according to ESPN. “Getting a chance to do this, with the team we’ve got, the guys surrounding me, the constant support from my family whose been with me through this whole thing … it’s been a great honor.”
Maris’ major league record was topped in 1998 when Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs, and then Barry Bonds surpassed that number with 73 round-trippers in 2001. McGwire and Bonds were both National League players during their record seasons, but Maris had remained the A.L. leader.
Home run No. 62 was caught by Cory Youmans of Dallas, who was sitting in Section 31, ESPN reported. When asked what he was going to do with the ball while being taken away with security to have the ball authenticated, Youmans said, “Good question. I haven’t thought about it.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who had a dramatic home run of his own when his round-tripper sent New York to the World Series in 2003, said he was excited to be a part of history as he watched from the dugout.
“The history of this game is one of its calling cards,” Boone told reporters. “The number 61. I’ve known about that number for my entire life. I think one thing that makes our sport a little more special than the others, is the history of it all. We do history really well. And this has been a year and a season where we’re in the middle of one of those magical historical moments, and that’s tied to a number. And that’s pretty neat.”