Reporter: “What does it mean that it’s a Yankee doing this, and a guy who’s a clean player, and a guy who is a face of the franchise who does everything right?”
Roger Maris Jr.: “It means a lot, and it’s not just for me, I think it means a lot for a lot of people. That he’s clean, he’s a Yankee, he plays the game the right way, and it gives people a chance to look at somebody who should be revered for hitting 62 home runs, and not just as a guy who did it in the American League, but be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ. It’s really who he is, and if he hits 62 that’s what needs to happen. I think baseball needs to look at the records, and I think baseball should do something.”
Reporter: “How important is it to you that a ‘clean’ player gets to 62?”
Maris Jr.: “It means a lot to me and I even put a tweet out like two years ago that said ‘if Aaron Judge were to actually hit 62 home runs how would he be celebrated?’ The million-dollar question is -- would he be celebrated as the single-season home run champ and would he get all the fanfare that he deserves? So here we are, he’s sitting at 62, he’s going to be in New York, and he should be revered and celebrated just like the single-season home run champ, not just like he’s the American League HR champ. I can’t think of anybody better that baseball can look up to than Aaron Judge, who is the face of baseball.”
Reporter: “Do you think Sammy Sosa, Mcgwire, and Bonds are illegitimate?
Maris Jr.: "I do, and I think most people do.”
Listen to Roger Maris Jr.’s interview he had with reporters moments after Aaron Judge tied his father for the American League home run record with 61 HRs, as Maris Jr. believes Judge should be considered the ‘home run champ’ if he hits his 62nd home run sometime in the Yankees final seven games.
With the dark cloud of PED-usage staining the legacies of Barry Bonds, Mark Mcgwire, and Sammy Sosa, who Maris Jr. called ‘illegitimate’, Maris Jr. thinks Major League Baseball should designate Judge as the single-season home run record holder of ALL of baseball, not just the American League if a ‘clean’ Judge hits another home run.
Judge's current total of 61 home runs would tie him with Maris for the 7th highest HR season in MLB history, but all three of those players ahead of him on the list have been either admitted to steroid usage or been directly tied to allegations, with Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa being effectively stonewalled from the Baseball Hall of Fame by the voters.
Here are the six seasons currently topping Judge in home runs.
1. Bonds - 73: 2001
2. McGwire - 70: 1998
3. Sosa - 66: 1998
4. McGwire - 65: 1999
5. Sosa - 64: 2001
6. Sosa - 63: 1999
7. Judge - 61: 2022 (through 155 games).
Maris - 61: 1961
Check out the full segment above.