Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees, and the Pursuit of Greatness


“The definitive story” (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times baseball columnist) of Yankees slugger Aaron Judge’s incredible, unparalleled run to break Roger Maris’s home run record and the franchise both men called home.

Aaron Judge, the hulking superman who carried an easy aw-shucks demeanor from small-town California to stardom in the Big Apple, had long established his place as one of baseball’s most intimidating power hitters. Baseballs frequently rocketed off his bat like cannon fire, dispatching heat-seeking missiles toward the “Judge’s Chambers” seating area in right field, sending delirious fans scattering for souvenirs.

But even in a high-tech universe where computers measure each swing to the nth degree, Roger Maris’s American League mark of sixty-one home runs seemed largely out of reach. It had been more than a decade since baseball wiped clean the stains of its performance-enhanced era, in which cartoonish sluggers Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds made a mockery of the record book.

Given a more level playing field against pitchers sporting hellacious arsenals unlike anything Babe Ruth or Maris could have imagined, only an exceptional talent could even consider making a run at sixty-one homers. Judge, who placed the bet of his life by turning down a $213.5 million extension on the eve of the regular season, promised to rise to the challenge.

“In the most thorough telling yet of an all-time-great Yankees performance” (Jeff Passan, New York Times bestselling author), veteran Yankees beat reporter Bryan Hoch unravels the remarkable journey of Judge’s run to shatter Maris’s beloved sixty-one-year-old record. In-depth, inspiring, and with an expert’s insight, 62 also investigates the more significant questions raised in a season unlike any other, including how—and where—Judge will deliver his encore.

About the author(s)

Bryan Hoch has covered New York baseball for the past two decades, working the New York Yankees clubhouse as an MLB.com beat reporter since 2007. Bryan is the author and coauthor of several books, including 62The Baby BombersMission 27, and The Bronx Zoom. Find out more at Bryan-Hoch.com and follow him on Twitter @BryanHoch.


“Bryan Hoch takes you so close to Aaron Judge’s historic season, you’ll feel like you’re watching from the on-deck circle.”

— Mark Feinsand, MLB.com Executive Reporter and author of “The Franchise: New York Yankees”

“With 62, Bryan Hoch brings you inside the clubhouse and behind the scenes of Aaron Judge’s historic home run chase. Hoch’s knowledge and insight gleaned from nearly two decades covering New York baseball shines through in the most thorough telling yet of an all-time-great Yankees performance.”

—Jeff Passan, ESPN baseball columnist and author of the New York Times best seller The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports.

Aaron Judge's indelible 62-homer 2022 season was one for the ages and there was no one more able to chronicle it than esteemed Yankee beat man Bryan Hoch, who was right there in the press boxes and clubhouses for all of it. 

-Bill Madden, author of "Steinbrenner, the Last Lion of Baseball" and 2010 recipient of the Hall of Fame's J.G. Taylor Spink Award

From the moment he got to Yankee Stadium, when he launched a home run over Monument Park in his very first at-bat, Aaron Judge has been larger than life. Now he finally gets the rich and nuanced portrait he deserves, from the only writer who could do it. Nobody in the press box knows the Yankees’ captain better than Bryan Hoch, the authoritative insider who has chronicled Judge every size-17 step of the way. Hochexpertly weaves pinstriped history from Ruth to Maris to Judge, their slugging successor, whose 62 homers in 2022 captivated the baseball world. This is the definitive story of the man, the mission and the majesty of a milestone. 


-Tyler Kepner, The New York Times baseball columnist, author of K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches and The Grandest Stage: A History of the World Series

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