When Judge broke the American League single-season home run record, he etched a permanent spot in the minds of baseball fans. He has a chance to top his previous achievement.
The New York Yankees player was named the Most Valuable Player in the American League on Thursday night. Since 1962, no Yankees outfielder has won the award.
Judge got 28 first-place votes and 410 points to beat Ohtani. Ohtani received two first place votes. He had a third-place finish.
|Aaron Judge, Yankees
|Shohei Ohtani, Angels
|Yordan Alvarez, Astros
|Jose Ramirez, Guardians
|Jose Altuve, Astros
|Andres Gimenez, Guardians
|Julio Rodriguez, Mariners
|-- Baseball Writers Association of America
Judge led the American League in a number of categories, including home runs, batting average, on- base percentage, and total bases. He was a runner-up for the American League Most Valuable Player in his first year in the majors.
He joined Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa in hitting more than 62 homers in a single season. It would have been the Triple Crown if he had won the batting title.
As he entered the final year of his contract, there was tumult around contract negotiations and he was named the Most Valuable Player. The sides failed to come to an agreement despite the judge setting a self-imposed deadline of opening day. Cashman revealed the terms of Judge's contract, which was an eight-year extension, to the public. If he hits the free agent market after this season, Judge expects more.
In the first quarter of the season, Judge hit six homers in 75 at-bats. The calendar turned to May and Judge went off. The Yankees outfielder hit 12 homers in June, 13 in July, 9 in August, 10 in September, and 62 in October. The best year of Judge's career was the one in which he played the most games.
The New York offense relied on Judge's consistency from month to month in order to be successful. At the end of the season, it was second in baseball scoring 807 runs.
Each of Judge's at-bats became an event as he neared Roger Maris' American League home run record. Fans stood up every time he stepped into the batter's box and remained there for the entire game. The Yankees tried to get a spot on the top step of the dugout to see their teammate make history.
On September 28, Judge hit his 61st home run of the season, tying the record held by Babe Ruth. It was the first home run of the season and the first time a home run had been hit in seven games.
The Yankees played their last game of the season on October 4. Jesus Tinoco hit a leadoff shot to left field to break the record.
During the playoffs, Judge hit his worst stretch of the season as the Yankees lost to the Houston Astros in the ALCS. Judge had two homers and five hits in nine games. The Yankees were swept by the Astros in the ALCS.
One of the biggest contracts of the off-season will be signed by Judge. Hal Steinbrenner wants Judge to be a Yankee for the rest of his career.