Baseball’s had its share of big stars the last several years, the it guys of the game…
The Yankees had Derek Jeter, before that the Royals George Brett, Oakland Mark McGwire. Yet there really hasn’t been a true monster star since slugger Reggie Jackson.
Remember the “Reggie, Reggie, Reggie” chant when he hit three homers in a single World Series game?
Jackson was as close as it came to being a modern day Micky Mantle – the power hitter the nation watched and admired most when I was a kid.
I always felt that the power hitting stars of the game were the ones who made baseball America’s game.
Today, not so much.
Since the steroid era nobody’s grabbed our hearts like newest Yankee, Aaron Judge.
The 25 year old rookie is fast becoming the next guy you might see on a candy bar or cereal box. He looks to be THE MAN and not just in New York but in baseball.
Judge is not only going to be rookie of the year but maybe MVP.
Heck, Judge could be a triple crown winner in his first full season with the Yankees.
He’s already hit 22 home runs and is batting .335 with 49 RBI’s.
Those numbers at season’s end might get a rookie of the year award as they stand, but if it continues Judge may be the first mega star since Reggie Jackson.
Don’t get me wrong there have been some great ballplayers at the plate since Reggie – our own Carlos Beltran being one – but NOT LIKE THIS KID.
Judge’s home runs have already been tape measured many times at 450, 475 and over 500 feet.
He is a sight to watch. He has the build of an NFL linebacker at six feet seven inches and weighs in at over 225 pounds. He’s handsome, built, smiles and is simply a nice guy, superstar.
Today when he comes to the plate all eyes are on him and the crowd is silent. That’s the Babe Ruth effect. Is he gonna hit one out? How far? Will he get another one today?
Baseball today needs a player like Judge.
The game has become more regional and less national. Most fans can’t name five players on teams other than their own.
And lets be honest, outside of KC who knows our Royals players?
Yes, some people know Eric Hosmer and Sal Perez, but thats about it.
So having a Yankee super star is important to baseball’s global appeal.
This larger than life ballplayer could single handedly lift the national interest in baseball – even TV ratings in the post season.
If Judge gets to around 30 plus homers by the All-Star break the talk begins,
Can he break 60?
Sadly, the steroid era produced a couple guys who did so and the old Babe Ruth record is gone.
But it’s still a milestone to honor if a player can do it totally on his own – no roids.
And Judge could be that man.
The Yankees have not really been the it team for years. However New York is in first place and has a good shot at a World Series this season.
Can Aaron Judge add the romance and attention that’s been lacking for years? Can he be the superstar everyone watches and follows?
If he continues on his current path, the answer is YES.