Human beings are not supposed to be able to do that. Just when you think there are limitations to what humans beings can do, expectations are shattered. And that’s what it’s all about; expectations. No one expects a rookie to be leading the MVP race. No one expects a rookie to hit baseballs 500+ feet. No one expects a rookie to take the world by storm. Until they do.
Aaron Judge is that rookie. Yes, he is only in his first full season in Major League Baseball. It’s hard to believe due to his size, strength, ability, and demeanor. He walks, talks, and acts like a 12-year, MLB veteran.
If Aaron Judge Isn’t The Perfect Candidate To Be The Face Of Baseball, I don’t Know Who Is.
MLB needs to seize the moment. Forget the “Judge” nicknames, they should make him the poster child for their league. He is just what baseball, and more importantly society needs. He is as confident as he is humble. He is as selfless as he is gracious. He is as talented as he is grounded. But don’t ask him for an opinion of himself, because he won’t give it. He’ll assuredly attribute his success to the support of his family, friends, coaches, and teammates. In a world filled with self-promotion, it is refreshing to see a 25-year old break the mold.
The mold is not the only thing Aaron Judge broke last night. He broke records and possibly some windows during his first Home Run Derby. As the 2-seed in the new “bracket” format the home run derby adopted, Judge had to overcome a mountainous obstacle in the first round. His opponent, 7-seeded Justin Bour, rallying behind his home crowd in Miami, posted 22 home runs in the first round (4th most in a single round..ever). It’s hard not to like Bour, “Mr. No Batting Gloves”, as I like to call him. His monstrous frame and forearms lend themselves to a Home Run Derby. I mean, the guy was fed a doughnut by teammate Giancarlo Stanton during one of his “timeouts”. You owe me a doughnut!
While Bour and Stanton brought energy and excitement to the Home Run Derby, Aaron Judge was not to be outshined, outmatched, or outdone. His home run hitting power stole the show, as he hit 23 home runs to narrowly advance past Bour.
And this is the only part of the Home Run Derby I would tweak. The time limit and brackets were great ideas, but Justin Bour (22) and Giancarlo Stanton (16) deserved to advance to the second round. Next year, of the 8 competitors, the top 4 should advance to the semi-finals. From there, based on the same rankings (1-8), the bracket format should ‘kick in’. This would allow the best performers to advance, and still provide the head-to-head matchup excitement.
Anyway, back to Judge….
He hit 47 total home runs, 5 that travelled at least 500 feet. He also owned the longest home run of the night; 513 feet. Can you imagine hitting a baseball 500 feet?! Yeah, me neither.
My favorite part of Judge’s performance was he showcased his opposite field power, utilizing the entire ballpark as his playground. And you’d need to watch the Home Run Derby to understand his raw power. Balls that mere mortals pop-up to shallow right field are 400 foot home runs for Judge, the demi-god. And as if all this wasn’t impressive enough, Judge actually hit the ceiling last night. HE HIT THE CEILING!! And it didn’t even count as a home run. Fortunately, this didn’t cause a Home Run Derby controversy. While it was certainly Aaron Judge’s night, I think he just drew a few more eyeballs to the game of baseball for the rest of the year.
Did you watch the Home Run Derby last night?? Did you tune in just to watch Aaron Judge?? Tell me all about it in the comment section below.
Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!