Aaron Judge hits 62nd homer to break Roger Maris’ record

ARLINGTON, Texas — Aaron Judge is the new home run king — at least to some people.

The Yankees outfielder made history Tuesday, hitting his 62nd home run of the season in the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Rangers in Game 2 of a doubleheader to break Roger Maris’ American League and franchise record set in 1961 — and, some would say, the legitimate MLB record.

He reached the landmark number against Jesus Tinoco of the Texas Rangers, leading off in the second-to-last regular season game on the season.

Aaron Judge socks his record-setting 62nd home run against the Rangers.

Aaron Judge socks his record-setting 62nd home run against the Rangers. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Po

In the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Judge went 1 for 5 as the designated hitter, singling and scoring the eighth inning. The frustrations of his homerless drought began to show as he was caught slamming his helmet in the dugout after a fifth inning pop-out.

He appeared to take out his frustrations early on the second game, sending a 1-1 pitch from Tinoco 391 feet into the left field bleachers at 100.3 MPH for No. 62.

Judge struck out in the top of the second inning and was pulled from the outfield by manager Aaron Boone in the bottom half of the frame.

It’s the most homers hit in a season since Barry Bonds set his PED-tainted record of 73 home runs in 2001 with the Giants. Sammy Sosa, another slugger disgraced by his attachment to steroids, hit 64 that season with the Cubs. Sosa’s career-high of 66 came in 1998 during his chase with Mark McGwire, who finished with 70 home runs.

While many consider Bonds’ record to be illegitimate because of his connection to steroids, Judge said he still believes Bonds is the home run champ.

“The record’s the record,” Judge said earlier in September. “That’s what I go by. I watched him as a kid flip the ball into the bay with ease. That hasn’t changed.”

Judge first expressed the sentiment in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, saying, “No one can take that from him.”

But Judge said he hasn’t been focused on Maris’ milestone.

Everything to know about Aaron Judge and his chase for the home run record:

“I’m not really chasing or looking at anything,” Judge said of his move up the home run leaderboard. “It’s just happening.”

And Judge, who grew up in California rooting for Bonds and the Giants, added he doesn’t plan on gunning for Bonds’ 73, either.

“Not really,” Judge said. “That was a pretty unreal year. That’s a hard number to catch.”

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