Aaron Judge belted his 61st home run of the season Wednesday against the Blue Jays, tying Roger Maris’ American League and Yankees single-season records. The historic ball reportedly would’ve been worth up to $2 million had it landed into the hands of a lucky fan. But on this chilly night in Toronto, the fan wasn’t so lucky.
When Judge took lefty Tim Mayza deep in the seventh inning for dinger No. 61, the ball traveled painfully close to a Blue Jays fan who couldn’t corral it from his outfield seat. Here’s a look at a moment he won’t soon forget:
Seeing Judge make history clearly didn’t mean as much to the fan as owning a piece of it, as he was caught on camera sulking and slamming his cap out of frustration moments after the ball left his sight.
Thankfully for Judge and the Yankees, the ball ricocheted into the hands of Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann. Buschmann and the Jays bullpen, specifically closer Jordan Romano, then made sure the ball got to Yankees personnel.
“From what I heard from our bullpen guys, Romano was the guy that kind of handed it over,” Judge told reporters. “Getting that type of support and a classy move from him, who’s one of the best in the game, definitely means a lot. I’ve got to try to find him here and thank him for that, that’s for sure.”
After the game, Judge and his mother, Patty Judge, posed for a photo with the record-breaking ball.
With home run No. 61 out the way, Judge needs only one more over his team’s final seven games to take sole control of the Yankees and AL single-season records. He’s unlikely to match or exceed the MLB record of 73 home runs that Barry Bonds hit for the Giants in 2001.
It’s been quite the two-game stretch for Judge. On Tuesday, his Yankees clinched the AL East with a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays. He then matched Maris’ 61 home runs the following day. If the saying “all good things come in threes” is true, perhaps we can expect Judge’s 62nd homer Friday against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.