Aaron Judge of the Yankees joined special company with his 40th home run before August.

Getty Images

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge closed out Thursday night’s game against the Royals with a walk-off home run. On Friday, he went deep again, this time 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.

Let’s zero in on the judge’s personal compliments here. It was Judge’s 40th home run of the season and we haven’t 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
  • Luis Gonzalez, 41, 2001
  • Ken Griffey Jr., 41, 1998
  • Jimmy Fox, 41, 1932
  • Babe Ruth, 41, 1928
  • Aaron Judge, 40, 2022
  • 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.

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.