Aaron Judge is making a splash on the baseball scene, and he is definitely destined for the Hall of Fame one day. Okay, that may be going a bit far at the moment for a kid who hasn’t even made it to a first All-Star break of his rookie season. Nevertheless, Judge is more than exceeding his expectations so far in his first full season as a New York Yankee, and the fans are behind him 100 percent.
Aaron Judge is playing like a seasoned vet so far through his first 42 games as a professional, and he is putting up incredible numbers along the way. Judge’s 15 home runs has him tied for a major league best with Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. He also is in the top ten in average (.315), RBI (30), and Wins Above Replacement or W.A.R. at 2.8.
More importantly than personal stats, the New York Yankees are off to a great start and Judge is making baseball fun again in the Bronx.
The fans in New York are so enamored with Aaron Judge that they have taken matters into their own hands when it comes to showing how much they are behind their rising star. The newly formed section dubbed “The Judge’s Chambers” is proof of that!
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 22, 2017
According to the New York Daily News the New York Yankees unveiled “The Judge’s Chambers,” a section in the right field stands directly behind the real estate where Judge plays. The team added fake wood paneling around three rows of seats in section 105 in right field, and “The Judge’s Chambers” is written in capital letters along the back of the paneling. Fans hold up signs reading “All Rise” after a great play, or when Judge is coming to bat, and the love fest is just getting stronger.
The humble 6-foot-7 Judge is more than beside himself when it comes to describing his excitement for the team’s success and the fans giving him his own cheering section.
“It’s pretty unreal. I never would have thought so soon, but the fans like it. I’m glad they’re having fun,” said Judge after Monday’s 4-2 win over the Royals. “It’s pretty cool. When you come to a game, it’s supposed to be fun for the players and the fans. (The Yankees) just brought it up to me, and said, ‘This is what we’re going to do. Put out a section and call it “Judge’s Chambers” and get them little judge outfits.’ I think it turned out great.”
This isn’t just a good thing for Aaron Judge and the Yankees, it is a great thing for baseball.
Of all the four major sports (NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB) baseball has the stigma of being a bit boring when it comes to players being able to celebrate or express themselves after a great play or dramatic game-tying hit or home run. Baseball is a kids game, and it is a breath of fresh air to see something like this.
Even Judge’s teammates think this is good for the game, including left fielder Brett Gardner.
“I didn’t see too much of it, but I think it’s great,” said left fielder Brett Gardner of the denizens in the right field Chambers. “The fans get excited about seeing (Judge) play on both sides of the ball. I might go up there early (Tuesday) when I get to the field and check it out.”
Whether Aaron Judge will be a one year wonder or a future All-Star is still left to be written, however, he certainly has the tools and athleticism to be a force in the Yankees lineup for many years to come.
Baseball America listed Aaron Judge at No. 12 of their top 20 rookies heading into the 2017 season, so it isn’t that big of a surprise that the Yankees right fielder is doing well, but it is safe to say that not even the most die-hard Yanks fans saw this coming!
It is a bit early to start thinking about a possible MVP or Rookie of the Year run for Judge, but odds makers have recently added Aaron Judge to the growing list of possibilities. Below is a look at the current odds to win the American League MVP award according to Oddsshark.
American League MVP Odds 2017
- Mike Trout (LAA) -145
- Francisco Lindor (CLE) +600
- Mookie Betts (BOS) +800
- Manny Machado (BAL) +800
- Jose Altuve (HOU) +800
- Aaron Judge (NYY) +1600
- Miguel Cabrera (DET) +2500
- George Springer (HOU) +2500
- Nelson Cruz (SEA) +3300
- Andrew Benintendi (BOS) +4000
[Featured Image by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images]