No, we know. We know that when you opened this article, you skimmed the headline quickly and believed that Roger Maris Jr., son of Yankees legend Roger Maris, wanted Aaron Judge to whip Barry Bonds’ single-season home run record in 2022 and return the crown to the Bronx. Not quite, though.
See, the son of the ex-Yankees bopper still believes in his dad’s record as the legitimate mark, believing Bonds’ 73 to be nothing more than a footnote of the steroid era. Therefore, he acknowledges that Judge — currently on pace for 63 blasts — has next to no chance of catching the inflated mark, but has a somewhat legitimate shot to keep the real record in New York long-term.
That’s what’s most important, especially after Maris Jr. and his family went through a complicated few summers of reliving and litigating their deceased father’s powerful history during the summers of 1998-2001.
With the Steroid Era long behind us (except those of us who are Hall of Fame voters), it now feels like an excellent time for a Yankees behemoth to take back the spotlight and untwist the narrative.
Want a dose of reality and magic, all at once? Maris Jr. made sure to note that his father hit his 61 in 1961, the year we’re currently in the 61st anniversary of.
If that isn’t fate in terms of bringing the home run record home, then what is?
Roger Maris’ son wants Yankees’ Aaron Judge to take home run record back
As Maris told the New York Post, he believes the historic mark is still his family’s to give away:
"“We definitely feel Dad still has the record and I think the court of public opinion feels the same. It’s not fair to Judge or anyone else going after 61, like [Giancarlo] Stanton when he hit 59 [in 2017], it should be celebrated like other iconic milestones. It’s gonna be huge in the city of New York and if Judge hits 62 it will be amazing, but it will be a disservice that it’s not the major league record.”"
Judge’s pace will be difficult to keep up. He’ll need frequent breathers throughout the humid second half, especially considering how often he’s been thrown into center field already in 2022 in a contract year.
As long as the team paces him properly and he runs into one or two of his patented heaters, though, Judge has as good a chance as anyone since before forearms ballooned and pills had to be hidden. And that’s good enough for the Maris’, still intertwined in the fabric of history.