Aaron Judge joins exclusive company with 40th home run before August, sets Yankees record for multi-HR plays

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge finished Thursday night’s game against the Royals with a home run. On Friday, he went twice as far and made history along the way.

First, a two-run shot late in the third inning to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

The lead won’t last long as the Royals will go up five runs in the fifth. It was still 5-3 Royals down the eighth inning. The Yankees would get an eighth place finish. The exclamation mark was a grand slam for Judge:

The Yankees won to improve to 68-33 on the season, good for the AL’s best record.

But let’s focus here on Judge’s personal accolades. He now has 41 homers on the season and we haven’t shot the schedule yet in August. He’s actually going to have two more games to add to that, but here are the only players in baseball history to hit 40 homers before August.

  • Barry Bonds, 45, 2001
  • Mark McGwire, 45, 1998
  • Samy Sosa, 42, 1998
  • Judge Aaron, 41, 2022
  • Luis González, 41 years old, 2001
  • Ken Griffey Jr., 41, 1998
  • Jimmie Foxx, 41, 1932
  • Baby Ruth, 41, 1928
  • Samy Sosa, 40, 1999
  • Matt Williams, 40, 1994
  • Reggie Jackson, 40, 1969
  • Roger Maris, 40, 1961

While it’s not impossible, it’s fairly unlikely that Judge will achieve the record, but it’s still rarefied air. Bonds would end up with 73 home runs, McGwire 70. In Sosa’s two entries on the list above, he’s topped 60 home runs, and there’s, of course, Maris’ 61 home run season there. This means that of the previous 11 times a player hit 40 home runs before August, five times the player hit 60 home runs (Babe Ruth’s 60 home run season was in 1927). We can also cast an asterisk on Williams, as the season ended less than two weeks later due to a strike – meaning we’re essentially halfway through previous entries to reach 60.

We’ve already asked Judge to hit 60 home runs, and while he naturally prefers not to talk about itit maintains a rhythm that keeps the discussion relevant.

Additionally, this is Judge’s ninth multi-HR match of the season. It’s a Yankees record, believe it or not. Babe Ruth (1927 this time), Mickey Mantle (1961), A-Rod (2007) and Gleyber Torres (2019) were previously tied for the record at eight.

Judge’s career high in home runs is 52, which he did as a rookie in 2017. He hit 39 last year in 148 games, so he’s already topped that mark in 98. He leads the majors in home runs, RBIs and runs scored.

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