Tuesday, September 26, 2017


"Judge is back, Dad! Big time!"
--My 15 year old

Photo: Getty Images
My son said that on Saturday, a few days before he hit number 50.  The truth is my son's been watching Judge all season.  The hot streaks, the struggles, and some would suggest he's analyzing Aaron Judge and internalizing his own journey in youth baseball. For years it was never easy for him in a "Daddy Baseball" mentality.  But he stayed patient, he never quit working and through it all, he emerged as one of the better hitters in our area, and he was recognized for it, and that makes me kind of proud.  Hard work and determination was a huge part of that. But he also learned disappointment, much failure, being picked on by peers and all of that, but he did learn one truly valuable lesson... "one game at the time."  These days, he feels pretty good, but it took a lot of learning to get there.

Now he watches Aaron Judge and while my son is not a home run hitter at all, he recognizes the pitches coming in to Aaron's wheelhouse and how Judge went from not being able to lay off the outside pitch to waiting on it, recognizing the ball coming out the pitchers hand, and re-adjusting.  Judge did it.  So did my own kid.  And watching my boy totally absorbed in a rookie like Judge makes me very happy.

Photo: Getty Images
Aaron Judge hit 2 yesterday.  Number 49 and 50.  Sports Illustrated has the story:

"Since the calendar turned to September, it's been another story. Judge's home run on September 3 against the Red Sox, his 38th of the year, ended a season-high 15-game drought. He's hit 12 since then, including seven in his last six games, capped by back-to-back two-homer games against the Blue Jays on Sunday and the Royals on Monday. In Monday’s third inning, he tied McGwire's record with a 389-footer to right centerfield off Jakob Junis, and then in the seventh, he broke it via a 408-footer to left center off Trevor Cahill. For the month, he’s now hitting .307/.444/.893 with 13 homers and 26 RBIs."

Photo: Getty Images
What makes all of this sweeter is that the Yankees are playing so well.  But the story of Aaron Judge is one of folklore in a lot of ways. It's almost not believable. His journey has been amazing to watch, and for my son, Aaron Judge has a new fan, big time.  In the end, even if the Yankees don't succeed this season and win it all, Aaron Judge has inspired a fan base, and that my friends brings a big goofy smile to my face.

Congrats to Aaron, you deserve everything positive coming your way, kid.  Thanks for inspiring.

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