Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the 2022 season on Wednesday night, and a couple Blue Jays fans just barely missed out on a piece of history.
No. 99 hit No. 61 on the year, thus tying Roger Maris for the AL single-season record. Maris had his 61 home-run season in 1961, and the mark went unblemished (at least in the American League) for 61 years, ironically enough.
But in a free-agent walk year, Judge has performed with the pressure on where the lights are brightest. The 30-year-old may consider Barry Bonds the all-time single-season home run leader, despite some performance-enhancing drug at play. But to many, Judge will be the rightful leader in that category when, or if, he hits No. 62.
What happened to Aaron Judge’s 61st home run ball?
Judge’s 61st home run ball did not reach the seats in Rogers Centre officially, but instead went into the Blue Jays bullpen where coach Matt Buschmann. The ball will likely be authenticated, then sent to Judge or Cooperstown, free of charge.
But just how close were fans of the opposing team to coming away with a piece of history?
At least two Blue Jays fans were close to the ball, with another Yankees fan reaching late. However, it was one Jays fan who went full surrender cobra after just barely missing out.
Close, but no cigar.
Barry Bonds home run record
Bonds has the official home run record, even if it came with some help. In 2001, Bonds hit 73 home runs for the San Francisco Giants. Judge, a Bay Area native, admitted he believes Bonds to be the rightful record holder.
“Oh, yeah,” Judge said, h/t NJ.com. “That’s the record. I watched him do it. I stayed up late watching him do it. That’s the record. No one can take that from him.”