Is Judge Chasing the Right Record?

Cade Counsell, Cub News Writer

The New York Yankees are number one in their division and sit at number two league-wide all thanks to the new face of their franchise, Aaron Judge. In his 544 at-bats this season, Judge has 171 hits, and more impressively, 60 home runs. The MLB record holder for the most homers in a single season is Barry Bonds with 73 home runs, followed by Mark McGwire with 70 and Sammy Sosa with 66.

Although these feats are legendary, there have been some relation between the three record breakers and the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). In 2011, Bonds was convicted for steroid use during his record-breaking season. In 2010, McGwire admitted to his use of steroids during his famous 1998 season. And in 2003, Sosa tested positive for PEDs, although he still denies his use to this day. The controversy has gone so far that the three legendary sluggers have been denied access into the Baseball Hall of Fame. With these three record-breakers being accused of using PEDs, Roger Maris’ 61 single-season home runs in 1961 is left as the record to beat.

Recently, Judge has identified Barry Bonds’ 73 home runs as the MLB record, which hasn’t sat well with Roger Maris’ son. In a post-game interview after he had hit his 55th homer this season, Judge said, “the record’s the record… that’s what I go by.” Roger Maris Jr. later spoke to the New York Post about Judge’s comments, saying, “I think a lot of people still look at dad’s (Roger Maris) as the real record. So that was surprising to me.”

With only 10 games left to play, the Yankees’ season is coming to a close. This has left many MLB fans on the edge of their seats. It is possible that Judge will break Maris’ record, as he only needs 2 homers in 10 games. But will Judge regard himself as the new record holder for single-season homers, or will Bonds still hold the title in Judge’s mind? The answer is still to be determined.