Baseball is a game of legends, and every so often, a player comes along who captivates the world. One such player is Aaron Judge, a towering figure in the sport, both literally and metaphorically. Standing at 6’7″ and weighing 282 pounds, Judge’s physicality is just as impressive as his stats. The right-fielder has made a significant impact in the world of baseball, breaking records and winning accolades. This article explores the journey of Aaron Judge, his impressive career, and his impact on baseball.
The Making of a Baseball Star
Born Aaron James Judge on April 26, 1992, in Linden, California, Judge’s journey to the pinnacle of baseball began at Linden High School. Here, he played three sports: football, basketball, and baseball, before graduating in 2010. Following high school, both Judge and his high school sweetheart, Samantha Bracksieck, attended Fresno State University in California.
During his time at Fresno State, Judge made a significant impact on the university’s baseball team. The budding star’s talent did not go unnoticed as he was honored in 2017 for an outstanding master’s thesis in kinesiology. His award-winning project, titled “Posterior Elbow Angle During the Movement Phase of Throwing in Relation to the Susceptibility of UCL Injury in Major League Baseball Players,” demonstrated his deep understanding and passion for the sport.
The Beginning of a Prominent Career
Judge’s professional baseball career began when the New York Yankees drafted him in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft. The Yankees recognized Judge’s talent, choosing him as the 32nd overall pick. Judge made his MLB debut on August 13, 2016. His first season in the big leagues was impressive, with Judge making a significant impact on the Yankees’ performance.
Over the years, Judge has continued to excel, winning numerous awards and setting various records. He led the American League in home runs in 2017 and 2022 and was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2022. This honor made him the first Yankee to win the MVP award since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
Setting Records and Breaking Barriers
Judge’s 2022 season was one for the record books. He set a new American League record by hitting 62 home runs, surpassing the previous record set by Yankees legend Roger Maris in 1961. This achievement cemented his place in baseball history, making him one of the sport’s premier power hitters.
The right-fielder’s stellar performance did not stop at home runs. He led the Major League in home runs, runs scored, on-base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG), and extra-base hits. His OBP of .425 and SLG of .686 were the highest by a Yankee since 2007 and 1961, respectively. His 391 total bases were the most by a Yankee in the last 85 seasons.
The Personal Side of Aaron Judge
Away from the baseball field, Aaron Judge is a private individual who values his relationships. His relationship with high school sweetheart Samantha Bracksieck has been a significant part of his life. The couple tied the knot in a private ceremony in Maui, Hawaii, in December 2021.
Judge is also heavily involved in philanthropy. He launched the Aaron Judge ALL RISE Foundation in 2018, an organization that inspires children and youth to become responsible citizens. The foundation has supported over 2,000 youth in San Joaquin County, Fresno County, and the Bronx.
Aaron Judge’s journey from a high school sports star to a celebrated baseball player is an inspiration to many. His dedication to the sport and his commitment to excellence have made him one of the most respected players in Major League Baseball. As he continues to break records and set new standards, Judge’s legacy in the world of baseball is only just beginning. His story serves as a reminder that with hard work, determination, and a love for the game, anything is possible in the world of baseball.