Roger Maris’ kids aren’t quite sure what to feel.
With Aaron Judge on 60 home runs in the season — equaling what was once Babe Ruth’s record, and a shy of Maris’ American League, and unsullied by steroids, a season record — the Maris kids were at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night to in the team’s 5-4 win over the Red Sox in 10 innings.
And what has seemed inevitable lately is that Judge will match their father’s 61-year record.
“It’s mixed feelings,” Maris’ son, Roger Jr., said on Fox’s pre-match broadcast. “We want Aaron to do very, very well. We hope to see him have a big night tonight, and a big night to close out the rest of the week and the year strong.
“Again, we love the record, we’re proud of the record, but I think it’s kind of inevitable, he’s probably going to break it at this point the way he hits the ball, the way he hits the ball the last couple of We don’t expect the record at the end of the year, but kudos to Aaron for the year he has and I wish him all the best.”
Maris, who died in 1985, bears some similarities to Judge in their public temperament.
Everything you need to know about Aaron Judge and his pursuit of the home run record:
And if he had been allowed to watch Judge, he would have shared the same feeling that New York is catching up right now.
“He would have loved Judge,” Roger Jr. said. “I don’t know how much you know about Daddy, but if you look at those two and you go back to Daddy’s careers, and you go to Judge’s career, and their behavior, and the way they deal with the press, and the way they do different things. They’re just low-key guys. Team-first guys, all about winning, all about doing the right thing. Coming to the game well prepared, trying to win matches and trying to win a championship. I think he would have loved seeing Aaron do what he does.”
One of Maris’s other sons, Kevin, was asked how they wanted their father to be remembered, now that he no longer holds the AL record for home runs in a season.
“The nice thing is he’ll be reminded of Judge and Babe Ruth,” Kevin said. “And those are two of the best ball players to play.”