Yankees Slugger Aaron Judge Ties Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees Rookie Home Run Record
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge continued his tremendous rookie season hitting his 29th home run of the season in New York’s 7-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in Yankee Stadium July 5th. The homer tied Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees home run record for a rookie, set by Joltin’ Joe in 1936.
DiMaggio hit his 29 home runs in 138 games that year. Judge hit his 29th in game #83 of the season. DiMaggio, of course, was more than a home run hitter; he had a lifetime batting average of .325. Judge is also a high percentage hitter; despite 104 strikeouts on the season, Judge is hitting .331, third best in the American League. He leads in home runs and in RBIs with 65.
DiMaggio hit .323 in his rookie season with those 29 home runs and 125 RBIs. He also hit 44 doubles and 15 triples, striking out just 39 times in 668 plate appearances. Joe was a three time MVP (1939, 1941 when he had that record 56 game hitting streak, and 1947. In 1937, DiMaggio hit .346 with 46 home runs and 167 RBIs, 215 hits, a .673 slugging percentage, and 418 total bases and finished second in the MVP voting to Detroit Tigers second baseman Charlie Gehringer (.371, 14 homers, 96 RBIs). What makes the voting even more interesting is the fact that Gehringer’s teammate Hank Greenberg hit 40 homers, drove in 184 runs, and hit .337, and finished third in the MVP voting. We can imagine what social media reaction to all this would have been if it had been around in those days.