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On September 28, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge tied, then broke Mark Gwire’s long-standing rookie home run record, with two blasts off his bat versus the Kansas City Royals.

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge sets MLB rookie home-run record

No. 49 came in the third inning off starter Jake Junis, while record-breaking No. 50 came in the seventh off Trevor Cahill. He added two more home runs (one versus Tampa Bay and another versus the Blue Jays) to finish the season with 52.


The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge hit at least one home run against every opponent in the American League on way to joining an exclusive group of Yankees. Along with Judge, only Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Alex Rodriguez hit 50 or more home runs in a season while donning the pinstripes. Lou Gehrig twice hit 49 in a season (1934 an 1936).

Judge’s rookie record came despite a lengthy swoon at the plate following the All-Star Game festivities where he won the home-run derby.


Aaron Judge, 52 100%

Mark McGwire, 49 — 94.2%

Cody Bellinger, 39 75%

Wally Berger, 38 — 73.1%

Frank Robinson, 38 — 73.1%

Albert Pujols, 37 — 71.2%

Mike Piazza, 35 — 67.3%

Ryan Braun, 34 — 65.4%

Jose Canseco, 33 — 63.5%

Chris Young, 32 — 61.5%

Tim Salmon, 31 — 59.6%

Mike Trout, 30 — 57.7%

Incredibly, Judge isn’t the only player to establish a new rookie home run standard this year. Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger broke the National League record with 39 round trippers in just 132 games.