Aaron Judge set the record for the second-fastest player in the big league on Saturday as he hit 200 career home runs while playing for the New York Yankees in an 8-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Simultaneously, Judge also broke a tie with Babe Ruth by setting the previous record of 41 home runs on July 31, 1928, after recording 42 before August 1.
Judge only trails Ryan Howard in terms of home runs, who accomplished it in 658 games in 2009, while Judge hit his 200th home run in 671 games.
“Excited to get that one out of the way,” Judge remarks in a statement.
“I feel like the big numbers, it’s always tough to get past those. To get that out of the way, plus a win, is pretty sweet.”
Judge has accumulated nine home runs, 21 RBIs, and a.477 batting average in 10 games since the All-Star break. He is on track to break Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs, which he established in 1961 after hitting only one in his first 13 games.
He has to hit another 19 home runs in the remaining 60 games with his squad to tie Roger Maris' record.
Besides Judge, the Yankees also have several other hit homers, including DJ LeMahieu who also had an RBI single, and Matt Carpenter who, within 40 games, recorded 15 home runs for New York.
It is known that previously Judge turned down an extension contract with the Yankees that would last for another seven years. This means that he will be a free agent after the season, despite his career being on track.
The New York Yankees failed to persuade Judge to remain with the team, as was disclosed in April of this year and confirmed by General Manager Brian Cashman.
Cashman said that they offered Judge a huge new extension contract at $213,5 million in addition to the $30,5 million per year of a one-year contract to avoid arbitration.
"We're all disappointed right now that we can't be talking about a contract extension today. Not now, but hopefully later," said Cashman.
"... Both sides would like to be here. I think Aaron Judge doesn't want to be anywhere but here, and we'd love to make that happen as well," he added.
With the contract, Judge would have been one of the highest-paid position players in team history with an average yearly salary of $30,5 million only behind Gerrit Cole ($36 million) and ahead of Alex Rodriguez ($27,5 million).
It is deemed unusual for Cashman, the franchise's general manager, to publicly disclose the rejected contract offer. However, he claimed to have done so since the information would eventually surface.
Judge, on the other hand, seems to prefer keeping it a secret since it would lead to a public debate regarding his choice.
"I don't like talking numbers," he said. "I like to keep that private. That's something I felt like was private between my team and the Yankees."
For some, Judge's selection is rather unfortunate because he is one of the Yankees' most well-known players, and Yankee Stadium even has a rooting section in the right field named "Judge's Chambers" in his honor.