NEW YORK (AFP) — The son of New York Yankees legend Roger Maris believes Major League Baseball should rewrite its record books to recognize Aaron Judge as the new single-season home run king if he goes on to eclipse his father’s benchmark of 61 homers.
Judge blasted his 61st home run of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, tying the revered American League record set by Maris in the 1961 season, which stood as the outright Major League Baseball record until it fell during the sport’s steroid era of the late 1990s.
Only three men — Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa — have ever hit more home runs in a season, and all three have been tainted by allegations of steroid use.
Roger Maris Jr., who was in the crowd in Toronto, to watch Judge equal his father’s record of 61 on Wednesday, says the Yankees slugger deserves to be viewed as the “legitimate” home run king if he adds to his tally.
“I think that’s what needs to happen,” Maris Jr. said.
“I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.”
“I think it means a lot — not just for me — it means a lot for a lot of people that (Judge) is clean, he’s a Yankee, he plays the game the right way, and I think it gives people a chance to look at somebody who should be revered for hitting 62 home runs and not just as a guy who did it in the American League.”
“He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ. That’s really who he is if he hits 62.”