Aaron Judge sets Yankees record for most home runs in a season by a right-handed hitter

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New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge of Linden, California went into the Yankees record books on Wednesday in a 5-4 Yankees win over the Minnesota Twins. The dinger was his 55th of the season, and in the process, Judge set the Yankees franchise record for the most home runs in a season by a right handed hitter. The previous record was 54 home runs by Alex Rodriguez of New York, New York, who accomplished the feat in the 2007 Major League Baseball regular season.

Context of the 55th Home Run

Judge’s home run came in the fourth inning off of Twins starting pitcher Louie Varland. At the time of the home run, it put the Yankees on the scoreboard, but were still trailing 3-1. The Yankees went on to win the game in 12 innings. The 5-4 Yankees win was the first game of a doubleheader. The Yankees went on to beat the Twins again 7-1 in the nightcap. With the victories, the Yankees improved to a record of 83 wins and 54 losses, and have a five game lead on the second place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East.

Yankees All-Time Single Season Leaders

Judge’s 55 home runs are the fourth most all-time by a Yankees player. Roger Maris of Hibbing, Minnesota had 61 home runs with the Yankees in 1961, and Babe Ruth of Baltimore, Maryland had 59 home runs in 1921 and 60 home runs in 1927. Maris and Ruth were both lefthanded hitters. It should be noted when Mickey Mantle of Spavinaw, Oklahoma hit 54 home runs with the Yankees in 1961, he was a switch hitter.

Judge’s Dominant Season

Judge is batting .301 and also leads the Major League Baseball in runs scored (110), runs batted in (118), slugging percentage (.683) and total bases (334). Judge also has 19 more home runs than Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies, who is second on the list this season and leads the National League with 36 home runs. We have not seen a greater differential between the top two leaders in MLB in home runs since 1928 when Ruth had 54 home runs, which was 23 more home runs than Hack Wilson of the Chicago Cubs and Jim Bottomley of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had 31 home runs each.

Ruth has the record for the greatest number of home runs over the player who was second in the Major Leagues. The Babe had 54 home runs in 1920, 35 more home runs than St. Louis Browns first baseman George Sisler, who had 19 home runs. Then in 1921, Ruth had 59 home runs, which was 35 more home runs than Browns left fielder Ken Williams and Yankees outfielder Bob Muesel, who had 24 home runs each.

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