According to Roger Maris Jr., Yankees slugger Aaron Judge will be the actual single-season home run champion, not Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa.
After Judge blasted his 61st home run of the season on Wednesday night, tying Yankees legend Roger Maris as the American League's single-season home run leader, Maris' son spoke to reporters after New York's 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre and revered Judge, if he were to hit home run No. 62, for holding the "actual" record over sluggers such as Bonds, McGwire and Sosa who played during baseball's Steroid Era.
"I think it means a lot and it's not just for me, I think it means a lot for a lot of people that he's clean, he's a Yankee, he plays the game the right way," Maris Jr. told reporters. "I think he gives people a chance to look at somebody who should be revered for hitting 62 home runs and not just as a guy who did it in the American League. He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ. That's really who he is if he hits 62 and I think that's what needs to happen and I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball needs to do something."
Judge will stand alone as the American League's single-season home run leader if he blasts home run No. 62 before the end of the season. Unless he goes on a historic tear to end the campaign, he will not reach Bonds' record of 73 home runs set in 2001, McGwire's record of 70 set in 1998 or even Sosa's record of 66 home runs set in 1998.
Ironic enough, Judge himself believes that Bonds' record of 73 home runs still is the record to beat.
Bonds himself even would welcome the idea of Judge breaking his record. But unless the slugger goes on an absolute tear in the Yankees' final seven games, Judge will be looking upwards at the record held by none other than Barry Lamar Bonds.