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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Here comes the Judge

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Levar Dawkins
Levar Dawkinshttps://theinternationaltelegraph.news/
Editorial Team Rating: 4-AAAA Primary Journalism Sector(s): Entertainment, Sports

Man, what a time to be a New York Yankee fan! I mean it’s been some time since the Bronx Bombers gave the city something to be happy about. There’s been a lot of disappointing seasons, falling short on championships. It’s been tough these past few seasons, but there was always a bright spot; and that bright spot was Aaron Judge. I mean, ever since he has been in the majors, he has been a solid player. In 2017, he was unanimously selected as the American League (AL) “Rookie of the Year”, and finished 2nd in voting for the AL “Most Valuable Player” that same year. Judge’s first at bat as a New York Yankee was a homerun! You could just feel that this kid was something special.


Judge went on to have a record-breaking rookie season. In 2017, he was named an All-Star and won the Home Run Derby, making him the 1st MLB rookie to do so. He also ended the season with 52 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire’s MLB rookie record of 49, and the Yankees rookie record of 29 (which was held by Joe DiMaggio). Judge’s rookie home run record was short-lived because, two years later (2019), Pete Alonso hit 53 home runs.


On September 28, 2022, Judge added another record breaking achievement to the list. Judge recorded his 61st home run, which tied him for the most home runs in the American League, set by another Yankee great, Roger Maris. With 6 more games left in the regular season, I am very certain that his 62nd is on the way.



Now with Barry Bonds holding the regular season record at 73 home runs, that record has an asterisk because he was using steroids at the time. What makes this record-tying performance so exciting is that Aaron Judge has done it by going all natural, no need for performance enhancement drugs. He plays the game the right way, via hardwork and dedication, pretty much how Maris did it 61 years ago. Wow! Aaron Judge tied the record of 61 home runs, 61 years later; that’s special.


Roger Maris, Jr. has followed Judge for the past 9 days, so he could witness the record being broken. After Judge tied the record, Maris went on to tell reporters that if Judge hits his 62nd home run by the end of the regular season, that should stand as the record. Maris Jr. had also followed Sosa, Bonds and McGwire, as they all passed 61 home runs, but they were all tainted because of steroid use (none of the 3 players have been inducted into the Hall of Fame). Even though none of their numbers have been removed, the record still stands.


I am one of those sports fans that represent their city teams (except the Mets and Jets, sorry). As a sports fan from New York City, it’s an experience. You have the New York Knicks (NBA), who I have yet to see win a championship, but while I was growing up were very fun to root for and watch. You also have the New York Giants (NFL), who I have had the pleasure of rooting for and seeing them win 3 championships. I am not a huge hockey fan, but if the New York Islanders or Rangers are in the playoffs, I root for them as well. I am a true New York sports fan. Even though I am not big on the New York Mets (MLB) or New York Jets (NFL), I still want them to be successful. It’s a good look for the city. I almost forgot about the Brooklyn Nets, though when I was growing up, they were called the New Jersey Nets; I wasn’t a fan then. They moved to NYC and became “Brooklyn’s Team”, which is another story.


In every sport, you have that one franchise that has a pretty good historical background and makes a fan feel real good about their team/city. That team for me, my friend, would be the New York Yankees (MLB). Growing up, I really enjoyed playing baseball. I wasn’t very good at it, but I enjoyed playing it. I remember when I first got introduced to my favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees. I was in the third grade and my teacher, at the time, was Ms. Salazzo; she was a huge fan of Don Mattingly. I didn’t know that the borough that I was living in had their very own baseball team, and they were actually good (Before that, I only thought NY had one baseball team, which was the Mets, because that’s all my father had watched). Don’t get me wrong, the Mets had some solid players, like Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson, Doc Gooden. I mean the list goes on, but they just didn’t do it for me.


After seeing the Yankees win championships and produce some of baseball’s greats, I am truly looking forward to seeing Aaron Judge become the regular season home run holder. Hey Aaron, if you’re reading this, shoot for 74, so they can’t deny your greatness! #staygrinding #stayworking


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