Aaron Judge hits record 62nd home run, breaking tie with Roger Maris

New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) rounds the bases after hitting home run number sixty-two to break the American League home run record in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.

Tim Heitman | USA TODAY Sports | Reuters

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge clubbed his 62nd home run of the year Tuesday night in Texas, making him baseball’s greatest single-season long-ball hitter — outside of MLB’s notorious steroid era.

Judge’s memorable blast came in the first inning, off Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

Tuesday’s homer broke a tie with Roger Maris, who hit 61 shots in 1961, for the most hits in a single American League season.

Judge had tied Maris’ record with a roundtrip shot in Toronto on Wednesday. He’s now alone in seventh place for most homers hit in any one season.

But Judge’s achievement may only stand as a record in the hearts and minds of purist baseball fans.

All the record-holders ahead of Judge are National League sluggers who did their damage in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when it was widely believed some of the best hitters and pitchers used performance-enhancing drugs.

MLB did not suspend players for steroid use until 2005. By that point, Maris’ mark of 61 had been topped six times in just four seasons (1998-2001) by Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa, San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire.

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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) rounds the bases after hitting home run number sixty-two to break the American League home run record in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Tim Heitman | USA TODAY Sports | Reuters New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge clubbed his 62nd home…

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