【N.J】 Yankees’ Aaron Judge has a wish list for passing Roger Maris – New Jersey News

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MILWAUKEE — Aaron Judge finally had a little something to say about his home-run chase after hitting two more in Sunday’s 12-8 Yankees win over the Brewers.

Suddenly on the brink of the big 6-0, Judge has a couple conditions he’d like to be in place if and when he gets to 62 to break Roger Maris’ American League record.

“If it happens during a win, that would be great,” Judge said after hitting Nos. 58 and 59. “That’s what I’m focused on. If I get a chance to do it at home, that would be great, too. But we’ll talk about it if that time ever comes.”


It’s coming, and everything seems set up for Judge to be able to check off the two things on his homer No. 62 wish list. He’s only three away and the Yankees’ final 16-game slate begins this week with six at Yankee Stadium against two last-place teams, the Pirates on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, then the Red Sox for four from Thursday to next Sunday.

When Judge hits his next homer, he’ll become the sixth player to reach 60, joining Yankees legends Babe Ruth and Maris, plus steroids-era sluggers Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire (twice) and Sammy Sosa (three times).

Bonds grew up in Northern California rooting for the Giants, and he was really into them as an 11-year-old in 2001 when Bonds hit a record 73 homers to pass McGwire, whose 70 in 1998 passed Rogers’ 61 in 1961.

Back in those days, Judge was a big kid with big baseball dreams.

“You set personal goals, especially as a 10-year-old kid,” he said. “You have dreams and aspirations of what you want to try to accomplish in Major League Baseball if you ever get there, but never in your wildest dreams you think it will come true.”

Some already have.

“Yeah, make it to the big leagues, be an All-Star,” Judge said. “The big one, win a championship, is still out there, but we’ve got some time for that. We’ve got a team that can do that, so hopefully we’ll check that one off the list.”

That’s still what Judge is focused on. He wants to win more than he wants to hit 62 homers or win the Triple Crown, which suddenly is a real possibility. He’s lapping the field leading the AL in homers, he has 15 more RBI than anyone else and his .316 average is one point out of the lead.

Numbers Judge cares more about are six, the Yankees’ magic number to clinch a playoff berth for the sixth year in a row, and 11, the magic number to wrapping up the AL East and secure one of two Wild Card Series byes.

“I’m thinking about we’re coming down the stretch and we’ve got some big games coming up,” Judge said. “That’s really the only thing that’s on my mind right now.”

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Judge says he’s still feeling that way even though pitchers will be getting marked baseballs every time he bats for the rest of the year. The special balls were broken out Sunday in the ninth inning when he went to the plate for the first time with a chance to hit No. 60 and laced a two-run double.

“I didn’t even notice,” Judge said after his two-homer, four-hit, four-RBI day. “I’m locked in on the pitcher and situation. Go to work.”

Judge makes it seems so easy, but can he really block out all the fuzz that’s been made about him wherever he goes?

“It’s not too difficult if your main objective and your main focus is to go out there and win a game,” Judge said. “If I’m out there, my focus is to win a game. Numbers are just numbers. I’m focused on doing what I can to be a good teammate and help the team win. If that means hitting a homer, then it means hitting a homer.”

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Randy Miller may be reached at rmiller@versuszone.com.

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