Shohei Ohtani Has A Chance To Break The AL Home Run Record Set By Aaron Judge Last Year

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rsz https calltothepencom wp content uploads getty images 2017 07 1409782774

Aaron Judge enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2022. He was named the American League MVP, due in large part to his 62 home run performance, which eclipsed Roger Maris’ long-standing AL record. But just one year later, Shohei Ohtani is a threat to the throne after it was previously held for 61 seasons.

Aaron Judge: “Shohei Ohtani Getting 63 Would Be Exciting For Baseball”

Shohei Ohtani is not only the best player in the MLB this year, but it has been argued that he is the greatest to ever play the game. He has already won an MVP award and is a 5-time All-Star, but 2023 has been his best showing yet. He has been dominant both as a pitcher and a hitter, and he either leads the league or is top-5 in many important statistical categories.

The one that stands out is the home runs. He leads the majors by a wide margin, having hit 35 long balls, which is five more than the next in line (Matt Olsen). The Angels have played 94 games thus far, meaning that Ohtani is on pace to hit 60 home runs. That total would tie him with Babe Ruth for the third most all time in American League history, behind only Maris and Judge.

But the latter believes that a home run chase for the second season in a row would be good for the game. Judge was asked about Ohtani potentially breaking his record, and he said that it would be exciting if he got 63-plus.

Ohtani Currently On Pace To Hit 60

He’s right. One of the most famous and attention-grabbing events in recent baseball memory was the home run chase of 1998 between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire. The record-breaking race made that MLB season a focal point for the national media, which came at a crucial time for the sport.

Baseball has seen a general improvement in attendance and interest in the game this season with its rule changes and shortened games. But Judge correctly predicts that a home run chase by the game’s best player would be even more beneficial for growing the sport. It would hold even more weight that he’d be going up against Judge’s record, which is fresh in the minds of fans, as opposed to chasing a 61-year-old milestone.

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