MLB’s single-season home run record belongs to Barry Bonds, who hit 73 in 2001 with the San Francisco Giants.
Mark McGwire is the only other man to reach 70.
His journey has been portrayed in lots of movies and his history has been told in many books: he was the underdog of the time, somewhat of a villain figure to Mickey Mantle‘s “hero” image.
Mantle and Maris battled all season long to see if they could break Babe Ruth‘s record of 60, but the former had to miss the stretch run with injury.
Maris eventually broke the record, which stood until McGwire hit 70 in 1998.
Why do we talk about this now?
Because Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is currently on pace to break Maris’ franchise record.
Can Judge Be The Franchise Single-Season Home Run Leader?
It would be extremely cool for Judge to surpass the likes of Maris, Ruth, Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Don Mattingly, and other franchise greats.
“Aaron Judge is on pace to beat the Yankees single-season Home Run record. Do you think he can do it?,” MLB Network tweeted.
Aaron Judge is on pace to beat the Yankees single-season Home Run record.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 10, 2022
Judge’s career high is 52, established when he was a rookie in 2017.
The outfielder is slashing .311/.383/.675 with 22 home runs, comfortably leading the league in the latter.
He is currently projected to finish with 128 RBI, 136 runs, and 63 home runs.
Just because he is projected to hit 63 dingers doesn’t mean he will necessarily reach that mark: it’s just his current pace, which is perhaps too good to be true and doesn’t consider potential injuries, slumps, and other unexpected scenarios.
In any case, Judge is having an amazing season and it would be incredibly magical to see him leapfrog Maris.