Aaron Judge Surpasses Mark McGwire as Fastest Player to 61 Career HRs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2018

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Thursday, April 19, 2018, in New York. The Yankees won 4-3. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge became the fastest player to hit 61 home runs in MLB history with a solo homer in the seventh inning of Thursday's 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.


.@TheJudge44 sent this baseball on a quick trip to the moon. https://t.co/cHt1ZM7RmN

According to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, Judge needed 199 career games to reach the mark, eclipsing the previous record of 204 games, which was held by Mark McGwire.

Sixty-one home runs used to be one of the most important benchmarks for MLB sluggers until 1998, when McGwire and Sammy Sosa both broke Roger Maris' single-season home run record. McGwire finished the 1998 season with 70 home runs, while Sosa was just behind with 66.

Then, Barry Bonds smashed 73 homers in 2001 to set the current gold standard for a single season.

After Thursday, Judge is already up to five home runs through New York's first 17 games. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper leads the majors with eight, while the trio of Jed Lowrie, Joey Gallo and Mike Trout are pacing the American League with six.

Mounting a serious challenge to Bonds' record is probably out of the question for Judge, but he may be able to improve upon the 52 homers that helped him win AL Rookie of the Year in 2017.