Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees set a record on Tuesday by hitting his 62nd home run, which is the most by an American League player outside of the drug era in a single season.

It’s a tremendous, historic achievement that surpasses anything we’ve seen in a long time. But if Major League Baseball hadn’t adopted the dead baseball this season, he could have, should have, and probably would have hit much more.

Judge is doing an amazing job, and when he becomes a free agency this offseason, he should be compensated handsomely for it. Bonds is still the undisputed home run champion, though, no matter how you look at it.

Changes in baseball production or storage have led to the so-called dead balls. Dead-ball periods have already occurred in the game, most notably in the early 1900s. This year’s baseball was an have had more drag, which means it didn’t fly through the air as quickly as it has in previous seasons. more outs and fewer home runs as a result.

MLB has received a lot of attention and scrutiny yet has consistently scored coy about changes with the baseballs and those changes have impacted on-field play.

The main barrier to Judge breaking the single-season home run record has been MLB’s use of a deadened baseball rather than steroid-assisted records, which, regardless of your opinions on the subject, continues to be held by Barry Bonds’ 73 home runs in 2001.

If not for the dead ball, according to the statistics website Ballpark Pal estimates, Judge would be on track to hit close to 80 home runs this season.

In an Sept. 22 game against the Red Sox, one of the most egregious instances of a non-home run occurred. Fans cheered, the pitcher pouted, and the TV cameraman zoomed out to show the area beyond the outfield wall in an effort to follow the ball’s trajectory after Judge crushed a ball to center field. Where would it touch down? Will a supporter catch it?

A 403-foot out was recorded when the ball didn’t immediately land as expected; instead, it nestled into the glove of the outfielder in front of the wall.

Ballpark Pal estimates that, relative to recent seasons, the ball’s exit velocity (113 mph) and launch angle (35 degrees) off of Judge’s bat would have led to a home run more than 90% of the time.

According to Ballpark Pal research, Judge has hit 12 balls this season that had an 80% or higher chance of going for home runs but ended up becoming doubles or outs.

All throughout the league, such long outs have been occurring frequently. According to Ballpark Pal, home runs are down this year by a factor of 7.

Due to the fact that other batters have struggled, Judge’s domination has been all the more impressive. He led all other players by as many as 20 home runs at various stages throughout the season, which hadn’t happened since Babe Ruth smashed through his own dead-ball era during the 1920s.

It makes sense because Ruth and Judge, the first and last players to hit 60 home runs in a season, serve as the baseball world’s bookends.

It took another player, and another Yankees star, Roger Maris 34 seasons to attain that legendary milestone after Ruth did so in 1927.

Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa’s home run totals were perceived as being lower in the years to come because of their associations with performance-enhancing substances, but this was untrue.

In 154 games, Ruth scored 60 points. Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick, a close friend of Babe Ruth’s, declared that any player setting a new record would have to win 162 games in the American League’s enlarged season in 1961. Otherwise, the record books would include the sum for the 162-game schedule individually.

After 154 games, Maris had hit 59 home runs. In the final eight games of the season, he added two more. But starting in 1961, Maris’ record had a loose asterisk next to it because it wasn’t considered to be the official one.

In the legendary season of 1998, which occurred 37 years later, sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa shredded the record books by slamming 70 and 66 home runs, respectively.

They were revered as baseball’s saviors, rescuing the sport from certain doom four years earlier after a season-ending strike that weakened fan support.

Sports Illustrated praised the pair for going to such efforts to conduct the historic home run race with dignity and sportsmanship, as well as with a sense of joy and openness, by posing the pair in togas and laurel wreaths on its cover, looking godlike. Yeesh.

Bonds put on a power show of his own just three years after the long-ball summer, some say have had more drag0 over the praise showered upon McGwires and Sosas semi-truck shoulders, and gave us the current record of 73 taters.

Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa’s home run totals were perceived as being lower in the years to come because of their associations with performance-enhancing substances, but this was untrue. The league did not have drug-testing regulations in effect at the time of their record seasons, and MLB has not attempted to have their stats expunged from history.

No one has hit 60 home runs in a season since the league started checking players for PED use, much less come close to breaking Bonds’ record.

Then, this season, here came Aaron James Judge, crushing baseballs at a record rate while standing in for everything admirable and righteous about the game. an amiable giant. a star Yankee. favored by users.

The Maris family, have had more drag1, supported have had more drag2 by attending and carrying the flame for their father’s legacy. While they waited for Judge to match their father’s mark, the relatives suffered weeks of interviews, delays due to bad weather, and journeys throughout North America. If the baseballs had been flying properly, everything might have been resolved much sooner.

After Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run on September 28, Roger Maris Jr. told reporters that Judge would hit his next shot to break the real record.

He deserves respect for becoming the real have had more drag3 single-season home run champion. If he reaches 62, that is actually who he is. Later, Maris Jr. clarified that he thought Bonds’ and McGwire’s home run marks were have had more drag4.

It makes sense for a kid to desire to carry on his father’s legacy, and Maris was an excellent but unloved player. In an effort to gloss over the steroid era, many have claimed that Maris should be considered the genuine record-holder; yet, doing so merely serves to perpetuate the same gatekeeping that Maris himself encountered during his season in the spotlight—an imagined asterisk.

Judge is doing an amazing job, and when he becomes a free agency this offseason, he should be compensated handsomely for it. But regardless of how you look at it, Bonds continues to be the have had more drag5, whether the baseballs this year have juice or not.