September 25, 2017
There is majesty in every swing. But so much more makes Aaron Judge the home run hulk he has become his rookie year.
Judge is a slugger who touches the senses, and maybe that is why he is so special. At 6-foot-7, he is taller than other hitters, the ball explodes off the barrel of his bat with a sound that is unique. And then you watch the arcing flight of the baseball. It’s breathtaking — mesmerizing even veterans of the game.
Todd Frazier has never seen anything like it.
“They’re majestic, all of them pretty much,’’ Frazier said Monday, a day Judge unleashed his 49th and 50th, tying and then breaking Mark McGwire’s rookie record for home runs in the Yankees’ 11-3 wipeout of the Royals at Yankee Stadium.
“That opposite-field home run today, ball is up and in and he hits it 375-400 feet, not many players can do that, I can’t think of one off the top of my head,’’ Frazier said. “It’s pretty cool. Words can’t put it in perspective.’’
A sight to behold.
That third-inning, opposite-field blast was 100-feet high and traveled 389 feet. His bomb in the seventh landed on the walkway far into left field, alongside the visiting bullpen, 408 feet from home plate. The drive was 136-feet high and then bounded like a golf ball hitting a cart path, flying high into the bleachers.
Another Yankees veteran, Chase Headley told The Post, “It’s fun to watch someone hit a long, long home run and just put his head down and go and not show anybody up, let the swing speak for itself. It’s refreshing. The swing is just different. It’s like he is a 7-foot basketball player on a 9-foot goal.’’
Judge pointed to the sky on home run No. 50. There are no antics, no bat flips. No wild choreographed celebrations. No embarrassing moves.
Only power and the majesty of the moment.
Judge’s home runs speak for themselves with a booming thunderclap, and so does his style of play.
Consider that after Judge hit the second of his two monster home runs Monday, he essentially had to be pushed out of the dugout to get his curtain call. It was embarrassing for him because he doesn’t want to get in the way of the game. Ever.
Fellow rookie masher Gary Sanchez then rocketed a line drive home run to left.
“We still got a game going on,’’ Judge said sheepishly before adding with a laugh. “After that, Gary hit a home run, maybe I should do that after every at-bat, a little quick curtain call before Gary hits.’’
The fans showered their love on him. Judge quietly went back into the dugout, found his way to the top step to watch the rest of the inning unfold. At the end of that inning, he was sure to take care of teammate Greg Bird, who had walked, taking Bird’s glove and cap out to the first baseman before running to his position in right field, with his usual good-luck detour to step on the bag at second base.
“You have a special kid,’’ Joe Girardi said. “He’s a natural born leader. It’s almost like he’s a big brother. He watches out for everyone, you got the whole package.’’
As for his pointing skyward on No. 50, Judge said, “The Lord put me in this position, I take a quick moment to say thank you. It’s a blessing every time I step on that field.’’
Yankees fans are blessed to have this kind of player to build around and it shows with the “All Rise’’ cheers they send to Judge. In a 2017 sports landscape littered with showboats, Judge is modest, perhaps The Greatest Millennial for young athletes to emulate.
Judge was able to get both home run baseballs back.
“I’ll probably give them to my parents,’’ Judge said. “Especially for all the sacrifices they’ve made for me throughout the years, those 25 years. It means the world to me to get them.’’
Majestic once again.