On a magical night in the Bronx, Aaron Judge ties Babe Ruth with 60th home run
NEW YORK — In the middle of the trot for the most noteworthy and historic home run in more than a decade, one that took Aaron Judge to a level graced by baseball royalty, the Yankees slugger chose not to revel or exult or luxuriate in the moment. And about an hour later, the Yankees’ slugger celebrated the occasion of the 60th home run in his magnificent 2022 season Tuesday night by lamenting the fact that he had not hit it earlier in the game, when the bases were loaded, as opposed to when he did, in the bottom of the ninth inning with them empty and New York trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I was kind of kicking myself while I was running around the bases,” Judge said. “Like, man, you idiot, you should have done this a little earlier.”
Eventually, goaded by his teammates and manager, Judge had offered those who had stuck around at Yankee Stadium and been treated to more of his magic a half-hearted curtain call. It was more out of duty than desire. All season, as he has chased ghosts and the numbers with which they’re associated, the sorts of things that matter greatly in the baseball world but very little in Judge’s, he has been numbingly steadfast in his insistence that the team supersedes the individual. To him, this all felt weird, disappointing, wrong — another round number reached, but with his team still down three runs and just three outs away from another loss, just like when he hit 50.
Only something happened. Anthony Rizzo reached base, and then Gleyber Torres, and then Josh Donaldson, and up stepped Giancarlo Stanton, and Wil Crowe left a changeup too high, and Stanton sent it over the left-field wall on a line. This time, it seemed Judge was the first one out of the dugout, there to greet his teammates at home plate, to celebrate an improbable 9-8 victory that took a night important to the rest of the world and imbued it with consequence for him, too.
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