The Yankees have an Attitude
The answer might be as simple as being a good teammate and leading by example. Judge did little by hitting his soft single. But it is that type of play that is reflected in everything Aaron does, and he is not the only Yankees player like that.
Because he pulls for everyone, and always has a team-first attitude, as seen in the dugout and in his interviews, everyone pulls for him. And everyone pulls together. That’s what happens when your best player puts the needs of the team above his own.
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And sometimes, it turns the team into more than the sum of its parts. Jeter was the team’s biggest star for many years. He always put the team first. That didn’t mean, however, that the Yankees won championships every year, or even made the playoffs; far from it.
Instead, what it meant was that when the team had some of the talent and all of the breaks—when the baseball gods put them in position to be successful—one factor that helped them win consistently was the team first attitude of their biggest star. It filtered down from there until it became a part of the team DNA.
That Yankees Blood Still Pumps in Their Veins
And it is what we see from Judge. We have seen it all year and we saw it again on Tuesday. It was a small thing, as quickly forgotten as the much more impactful play of Eric Wright.
But it and the millions of little moments like it throughout the season—from Judge to Didi to Gardy—have all added up to the young Yankees in the ALDS ahead of schedule.
As I said, Judge will never be the player that the amazing Ted Williams was. But he is already a better teammate and team leader. And if he wins just one World Series, he will lead Ted in that category.
On Tuesday night, we saw another small example of why that will probably turn out to be.