Judge honored by Yanks for rookie HR record

October 1st, 2017

NEW YORK -- The Yankees honored for setting the rookie record for home runs, presenting the slugger with a crystal gavel in an on-field ceremony prior to Sunday's 2-1 loss in their regular-season finale against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

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General manager Brian Cashman and director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer made the presentation to Judge, who was not in Sunday's lineup as the Yankees prepare for Tuesday's American League Wild Card Game against the Twins (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

"It's incredible. I've never played for a team like this," Judge said after Saturday's 2-1 victory. "Everyone gets along, we're always competing, always having fun. That's what championship teams are made of. I'm excited for what's going to happen here in the postseason."

Taking the AL home run crown with 52 homers, Judge eclipsed the previous rookie record of 49, set in 1987 by the Athletics' Mark McGwire. Thirty-three of Judge's homers came at Yankee Stadium, surpassing Babe Ruth (32 in 1921) for the most hit at home by a Yankees player.

"We all would have signed up for it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't think any one of us would have said, 'No, no, we don't want that.' You can talk about the home runs and the RBIs, but it's the on-base and the baserunning and the defense. It's the complete package is what we've got from him, and that's what has been so impressive to me."

A legitimate candidate for both the AL Rookie of the Year Award and the AL Most Valuable Player Award, the 25-year-old Judge finished his season among the league leaders in homers, runs (128, 1st in AL), RBIs (114, 2nd in AL), on-base percentage (.422, 2nd in AL), slugging percentage (.627, 2nd in AL), walks (127, 1st in AL) and strikeouts (208, 1st in MLB).

He is just the second rookie in Major League history to tally at least 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 100 walks, joining Ted Williams, who accomplished the feat for the Red Sox in 1939.