New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday night, setting the American League record for most home runs in a single season. The previous record, 61 home runs set by Roger Maris in 1961, held for 61 years.
The official Major League Baseball record is 73 home runs, set by Barry Bonds in 2001, but Bonds and the other two National League players who hit more than 61 homers — Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire — have steroid-injected asterisks next to their records. Roger Maris Jr. alluded to Judge's "clean" MLB record in his congratulatory tweet Tuesday night.
Judge managed to break Maris' record with just one game left in the regular season. He had hit just one home run in the previous 13 games — when he tied Maris' record last Wednesday — and was visibly frustrated when he struck out in the first game of Tuesday night's double header against the Texas Rangers. "New York wound up losing 3-2 after winning the opener 5-4," The Associated Press reports. "With one game left in the regular season, the split left the Yankees with a fitting 99-62 record — Judge's number and his home run total."