Roger Maris Jr. explains why Aaron Judge is true MLB home run king: 'Baseball should do something'

Author Photo
Aaron Judge and Roger Maris Jr.
(Getty Images)

Mark McGwire. Barry Bonds. Aaron Judge: Your single-season home run king?

Well, that is according to Roger Maris Jr.

The Yankees outfielder clubbed home run No. 61 on the season on Wednesday night, tying Yankee great Roger Maris' single-season record in the American League, and with seven games remaining the season, Judge has a strong chance to break that record.

But, according to some who believe noted steroid user Mark McGwire and (alleged) steroid user Barry Bonds tainted the record in 1998 and 2001, Judge is a long ball away from holding the "true" MLB record.

MORE: Why the Yankees haven't offered Aaron Judge a contract extension yet

Unsurprisingly, Maris feels the same way. He explained why on Wednesday night:

I think it means a lot, 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. I think he 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.

He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ. That's really who he is, if he hits 62. I think that's what needs to happen. I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.

Obviously, who "truly" holds the single-season home run record is a hotly contested topic amongst baseball fans. Some believe that the record belongs to Maris, who hit 61 in 1961, presumably without any type of performance-enhancing drugs. Others believe that the record belongs to Bonds, who mashed 73 in 2001, beating McGwire's mark of 70 set in 1998.

TSN ARCHIVES: Why Roger Maris' 60th home run caused a controversy

Obviously, MLB's PED policy was a bit more lax in those days, giving players more leeway on what they were putting in their bodies and the consequences of doing so. Coupling that with the fact that some believe the Steroid Era "saved" baseball makes the debate more wrapped up in red tape.

As it stands in the record books, Bonds is the true single-season champ in MLB history, and Judge is simply tied for the AL record. But don't expect the debate to die out any time soon.

Author Photo
Joe Rivera is a senior content producer at The Sporting News and teaches Multimedia Sports Reporting at his alma mater, Rutgers University.