Aaron Judge contacted by Mark McGwire after breaking rookie HR record
Aaron Judge is the new rookie home run king, and the man he supplanted made a classy gesture by sending a congratulatory message and an offer for a conversation.
The New York Yankees slugger, 25, broke Mark McGwire’s longstanding record with his 49th and 50th home runs during Monday’s 11-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
McGwire, now the bench coach for the San Diego Padres, revealed he was paying close attention to Judge’s pursuit of his 30-year-old record, which has stood since McGwire slugged 49 homers in his 1987 rookie year with the Oakland Athletics.
“The bar was set high at 49, and (Judge) just made it look easy with 50,” McGwire said, via MLB.com. “I couldn’t be happier for him. Maybe it’s another 30-plus years before someone else breaks it.”
And once Judge broke his record, McGwire reached out to Yankees designated hitter Matt Holliday, who he knew from his St. Louis Cardinals days, and got the Yankees rookie’s number.
Judge not surprisingly was humbled by McGwire contacting him.
“Coming from a great like Mark McGwire, it was incredible,” Judge said Wednesday, via NJ.com. “Never in my life did I think I’d be getting a message from Mark McGwire, so it was pretty special.”
McGwire went on to argue Judge has the skills and power to make a run at Barry Bonds’ single-season home run record.
“I couldn’t be happier for him,” McGwire said. “The future for him as a bona fide home run hitter is bright. Who knows what the number is going to be. Watch out 73. Seriously.”
Judge, meanwhile, has not yet taken McGwire up on the offer to chat, but plans to when possible.
“I haven’t yet, but I’ll get hold of him at some point,” Judge said.