Aaron Judge joined special company with his 40th home run before August, setting the Yankees record for multi-HR games.

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge closed out Thursday night’s game against the Royals with a walk-off home run. On Friday, he went deeper twice and made some history along the way.

First, a two-run shot in the bottom of the third inning to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

The lead would not last long, as the Royals would score five runs in the fifth. It was still 5-3 Royals heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Yankees would add eight spots. The exclamation point was a grand salute to the judge:

The Yankees won to go 68-33 on the season, good for the best record in the AL.

Let’s zero in on the judge’s personal compliments here. He now has 41 home runs on the season and we haven’t even turned the calendar to August yet. He’s actually going to add two more games to it, but here’s the only player in baseball history to hit 40 home runs before August.

  • Barry Bonds, 45, 2001
  • Mark McGwire, 45, 1998
  • Sammy Sosa, 42, 1998
  • Aaron Judge, 41, 2022
  • Luis Gonzalez, 41, 2001
  • Ken Griffey Jr., 41, 1998
  • Jimmy Fox, 41, 1932
  • Babe Ruth, 41, 1928
  • Sammy Sousa, 40, 1999
  • Matt Williams, 40, 1994
  • Reggie Jackson, 40, 1969
  • Roger Mars, 40, 1961

While not impossible, it’s very unlikely that a judge will get on the record, but it’s still a rare occurrence. Bonds would finish with 73 homers, McGwire 70. Both of Sosa’s entries on the above list have him topping 60 homers, and of course, there’s Mars’ 61-homer season. That means the last 11 times a player reached 40 homers before August, five times a player hit 60 home runs (Babe Ruth’s 60-homer season was 1927). We might as well put an asterisk on Williams, because the strike ended the season less than two weeks later — meaning we’re basically halfway through the previous 60 entries.

We had already asked the judge about reaching 60 homes, and while he understandably didn’t want to talk about it.he maintains a pace that keeps the discussion relevant.

Additionally, this is Judge’s ninth multi-HR game of the season. That’s a Yankees record, believe it or not. Babe Ruth (1927 this time), Mickey Mantle (1961), A-Rod (2007) and Gleyber Torres (2019) previously tied for the record at eight.

Judge has 52 career home runs, which he hit as a rookie in 2017. He had 39 runs in 148 games last year, so he’s already surpassed that mark in 98. He leads in home runs, RBIs and runs scored.