Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos
Maybe you’re not a Yankee fan, or a baseball fan, or even a sports fan, but every now and then a player comes along that captures your attention regardless. Last night baseball fans across the country watched as the Yankee rookie phenom, Aaron Judge, effortlessly crushed baseball’s best hitters to win the Home Run Derby — highlight of the MLB All-Star Game festivities.
While his victory might have seemed a foregone conclusion after the season he’s had, he is just 21 years old and it was his first time at the big game. Though he led the American League in All-Star votes, Judge exceeded expectations, pummeling homer after homer, with four rockets of more than 500 ft, and put on an epic show for the fans and his fellow All-Stars alike.
Larger than life, standing a massive 6-foot-7 inches tall and 280 lbs, Aaron Judge’s humility looms just as large. It’s part of what makes his greatness so great. In his rookie season, he is leading the league in home runs with 30 thus far, having blasted one 495 ft. into the left field bleachers at Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago — the longest home run in a regulation game so far in 2017. Regardless, he was as giddy as any fan meeting their baseball heroes at the Home Run Derby last night, though many of them were there to see him.
A few weeks ago, Judge spoofed himself on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Wearing just reading glasses as a decoy, he innocently asked New Yorkers in Bryant Park what they thought about Aaron Judge. Despite the admiration they exuded, he was barely recognized, even while holding his Sports Illustrated cover next to his face. “People tell me I look a lot like Aaron Judge”, he remarked, as those interviewed agreed. Something tells me that skit would play a little differently if filmed today.
Halfway through the season, with the All-Star Game to be played tonight, Aaron Judge has captured everyone’s attention now and we all can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next!