Lots of people have seen Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge batting at the plate this week, even people who had never watched a single inning of baseball their entire lives this weekend.
In fact, everyone watching something on ESPN while he’s been batting has seen him swinging on the screen even when it’s not Sunday Night Baseball. Why are channels treating Aaron Judge’s at-bats like it’s a broadcast of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon?
Because if in one of those he hits a home run, it’ll be his 62nd of the season.
“So what,” right? Not so fast. Major League Baseball is one of America’s oldest and most historic sports, and batters in the American and National Leagues have been playing and piling up records, wins, and stats for 121 years and 146 years, respectively. People were playing MLB baseball for Cincinnati and Chicago before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, before North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, and eight more states even existed. When Philadelphia and Boston played the first game of the National League, it hadn’t even been 100 years since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. And in all these seasons of MLB baseball with tens of thousands of players (I’m serious—over 20,000 have had MLB careers), some of whose great-grandsons are too old to play, guess how many different players have ever hit at least 60 home runs in a season?
Six. And before Aaron Judge a week ago, five.
Without home runs baseball isn’t baseball, and the home run records in the past have always been national news that the entire nation is talking about. Judge is now at 61 home runs, and if he hits just one more in the Yankees’ final five games, he’ll have 62.
Guess how many players in the 121-year-old American League have at least 62 homers?
None. Not a single one.
If he breaks this record, it’ll be something that hasn’t happened in 121 years, and you’ll have seen it live while watching your regular season college football game. 50 years later, you might be telling your great-grandchildren however since no one has come even close to this special season he’s had and the record he broke. So you’re welcome. And I get it, we’re not baseball fans, and we’re trying to watch our team play college football. But it’s at least worth it enough for the fans that have made baseball what it is over 121 and 146 years. Any way that’s my two cents. I kind of think it’s cool, but I’m also more interested in my college football game, but I think it’s cool enough to where I won’t complain.
Just make it quick, though.