Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols are closing in on major home run records : NPR & More Latest News

Albert Pujols (left) has been a superlative hitter over 22 seasons, placing him close to 700 profession home runs. Aaron Judge (proper) is simply shy of breaking the American League home run report.

Sarah Stier/Getty Images; Elsa/Getty Images

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Sarah Stier/Getty Images; Elsa/Getty Images

Albert Pujols (left) has been a superlative hitter over 22 seasons, placing him close to 700 profession home runs. Aaron Judge (proper) is simply shy of breaking the American League home run report.

Sarah Stier/Getty Images; Elsa/Getty Images

With baseball’s common season coming to an in depth in simply over two weeks, all eyes are on two gamers – one participant in his prime and the opposite a long-time nice in his remaining season – every inching nearer to major home run milestones.

The American League’s single-season home run report has stood in place since 1961, surviving even by the steroid-fueled home run frenzy of the late 90s and early 2000s. In 20 years, no participant has come as near breaking it because the New York Yankees all-star outfielder Aaron Judge has this yr.

And Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals, nearing the top of his remaining season in 22 years of major league play, is simply shy of 700 profession home runs, a quantity so excessive that solely three MLB gamers have ever reached it.

The common season ends in early October, leaving each gamers with over a dozen video games to perform the feats.

Aaron Judge and the American League home run report

After hitting home runs #58 and #59 in Sunday’s recreation in opposition to Milwaukee, Judge is now simply two dingers shy of the AL home run report, set at 61 by fellow Yankee Roger Maris again in 1961.

As of Tuesday, Judge has 16 extra common season video games to hit two (to tie) or three (to surpass) extra homers. Ever the modest workforce participant, Judge does not speak a lot concerning the mark. On Sunday, he demurred that chasing records has “never been [his] focus.”

“The numbers, they’re just numbers. I’m focused on doing what I can to be a good teammate, to help the team win. If that means hitting a homer, then it means hitting a homer,” Judge mentioned.

An essential be aware: While Judge is inside attain of the AL report, the all-time single-season report set by Barry Bonds in 2001 is way larger, at 73 homers. But that report, together with the subsequent 5 spots on the record (all of which have been set by Sammy Sosa or Mark McGwire), was set throughout baseball’s steroids period. Many gamers throughout that point, together with Bonds, Sosa and McGwire, have been suspected of, or admitted to, utilizing performance-enhancing medication.

Judge may additionally turn out to be simply the eleventh participant in AL/NL historical past to win the “Triple Crown” – in different phrases, to steer his league in three separate stats: batting common, home runs and runs batted in (which was first recorded as an official stat in 1920). Judge leads already in homers and RBIs, and his .316 batting common is at present simply .001 behind the chief.

Albert Pujols and 700 home runs

This one is not a “record,” per se – however nonetheless, the 700 home run membership is maybe baseball’s most unique fraternity. Only three gamers in MLB historical past have hit greater than 700 homers, and their names are acquainted to even probably the most half-hearted of baseball viewers: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.

This one has been a very long time in the making. Pujols has been taking part in in the major leagues since 2001, and he is been a superlative hitter for his entire profession.

Before returning to the Cardinals for this season, Pujols, the oldest participant in baseball, introduced that this yr – his twenty second season – could be his final.

Coming into the season with 679 profession homers, his odds of reaching 700 appeared inside attain. And now, he is closing in: Since the center of final month, Pujols has hit 12 homers, together with his 698th in a recreation in opposition to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

Even opposing coaches are expressing their admiration for Pujols. “It’s hard not to be moved by it, even when you’re on the wrong side of it,” mentioned Reds supervisor David Bell after Friday’s recreation.

As of Tuesday, the Cardinals have 14 video games left to play in the common season. Pujols wants two extra homers to hit 700.

Additional reporting by WUWM’s Chuck Quirmbach.


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