By Leah Nocera
Some people consider graduating high school or college, or maybe getting their dream job, as the best feelings in the world. For all the baseball fans here at Bryant, more specifically the Yankees fans, the best feeling comes when you hit your 50th homerun as only a rookie in the major leagues. Only a few days ago, Aaron Judge broke the record for most homeruns scored by a rookie in the major leagues, as he quickly surpassed Mark McGuire’s title that he has held since 1987.
Born and raised in Linden, California, Judge dominated the athletic programs at Linden High School participating in three sports, year-round, for all four years. Most kids would be content with excelling greatly in just one sport, but that was not enough for Judge. He competed on his school’s baseball, football, and basketball team. With all of his achievements on the football team, you would not think he’d be even better at baseball.
Judge had a myriad of options to play college football including offers from top programs such as UCLA, Notre Dame but, his heart was set on baseball. While graduating in 2010, Judge was selected in the 32nd round overall by Oakland. However, Judge was not quick to jump into the professional leagues, and instead chose to first continue his career playing college ball at Fresno State. This is a decision that a lot of athletes make to further help themselves grow, both physically and mentally for the game.
In his three years at Fresno State, Judge collected too many accolades to list. He was named to the first ALL-WAC (Western Athletic Conference) team in all three years, and led the team his junior year in homeruns, RBI’s, and doubles. He was the star pitcher and outfielder for the bulldogs, until being picked up by the New York Yankees in 2013. Judge was drafted in the first round, 32nd overall, to which he began his so far successful, record breaking career as a rookie batting against the best pitchers in the game.
His major league debut was on August 13, 2016 against Tampa, where he not only stepped up to the plate for the first time, but hit his very first homerun. Not many can say that their first at bat in the MLB was a homerun! The Yankees are currently posting a 90-70 record, second in the American league behind the Red Sox. Judge plays a big role in that standing as he currently has 51 homeruns in the 2017 season, with an impressive average distance of 410 feet.
Aaron Judge can only be going uphill from here; his contributions to the Yankees and the MLB so far are record breaking and baseball fans everywhere can’t wait to see what will come next. He sets the bar high for incoming rookies into the major leagues. Whether you are a Red Sox or Yankees fan here at Bryant, it is undeniable that Aaron Judge is one to admire in the game of baseball. As they would say in Yankee stadium when Judge steps up to the plate, “Aaalllll rise!”