#AllRise For Aaron Judge
We expect home runs in Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby. That’s the point of the entire affair that precedes the All-Star Game. But we do not expect the kind of show that New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge put on.
The 6-foot-7, 280-pound Judge nominated himself to the Supreme Court of home-run hitters on Monday night at Marlins Park in Miami. He won the home-run derby with 47, topping Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins (another first-time All-Star).
Some home runs barely make it into the stands. Some are hard line drives. Judge belts baseballs with such ferocity, power and elevation that they create instant memories and leave even the television announcers stunned and crowing like amazed fans.
Judge hit a baseball 513 feet. That is, as HLN’s Coy Wire pointed out on Tuesday morning, longer than a football field (360 feet including end zones) and an oil tanker (458 feet).
That was one of four Judge hit that went 500 feet. No other competitor hit a single one 500 feet. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch observed that the total distance of Judge’s home runs nearly reached four miles. We used to talk about going yard; now it’s going mile.
“I had no pressure going into it. I’m a rookie,” Judge said. “This is my first time doing it. For me, I’ve got no expectations. It was a blast. I enjoyed every minute of it — watching the other guys swing, coming here early and talking to the media. Everything about today was fantastic.”
Judge leads the majors with 30 home runs and is hitting .329. He’s at the heart of a younger Yankees lineup known as the Baby Bomers (teammate Gary Sanchez knocked defending Home Run Derby champion Giancarlo Stanton out in the first round of the competition).
He’ll be around for a good many years. In a game now dominated by home runs, Judge is king.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman