New York YankeeÂ superstar Aaron Judge has been in the news a lot this week, as he tied the knot in Hawaii this past weekend. But, also in the news is whether the Yankees will extend him a mega-contract keeping him a Yankee for life.
TheÂ sluggerÂ Aaron JudgeÂ burst onto the Major League scene in 2017. He played in 155 games, getting 52 home runs and hitting .284 with 114 RBIs. He was heralded at the new Yankee Star, the new Mickey Mantle. He was a Silver Slugger, Rookie of the Year, All-Star, and came in second in the MVP voting. However, he was never the same again with all of those accolades until this past season.
From 2018 to 2020, Judge was riddled with a myriad of injuries keeping him off the field and from performing. During those three years, he played only an average of 80 games a season. His home runs were gone, and his strikeouts stood out. He never could regain his 2017 form.
Fast forward to the 2021 season; a new healthy Aaron Judge appeared on the stage at Yankee Stadium. He was the most dependable and consistent player all of last season. He hit some runs, singles, doubles, and got on base. His .383 OBP is the best since 2017. Plain and simple, he carried the Yankees on his back even during the horrid first half of the season.
Judge ended the season hitting .287 with 39 home runs while playing in a career-high 148 games.Â
Here is some useful information to get you to know the man Aaron Judge. On April 27, 1992, Wayne and Patty Judge adopted an African American biracial baby a day after he was born; that baby wasÂ Aaron Judge. When Judge was old enough to understand, his parents told him, he was adopted.
Growing up in California, Judge was a San Francisco Giants fan. Judge attended Linden High School, where he was a three-sport star. He played as a pitcher and first baseman for the baseball team, a wide receiver for the football team, and a basketball team center. He set a school record for touchdowns (17) in football and led the basketball team in points per game (18.2). In addition, he was part of the Linden High School team that made the California Interscholastic Federation Division III playoffs in baseball.
You can imagine with this sports record that Judge was heavily recruited by teams like Notre Dame, Stanford, and ULCA as a tight end, but Judge wanted to play baseball. He was selected in the 2010 draft by Oakland but wanted to attend college instead. He played for Fresno State, where he was named a Freshman All-American. In 2012 he won the TD Ameritrade College home run, Derby. During the summer of 2012, he played for the Brewster White Caps of the Cape Cod League.
This is where I may have seen him play. He was drafted #1 by the New York Yankees. In his junior year with Fresno, he led the team in home runs, doubles, and RBIâ€™s. In 2013 the Yankees selected him in the draft, and he signed with the Yankees for a 1.8 million signing bonus. He joined the team but was injured in running drills that kept him out of the season.
So what have we learned about that superstar Aaron Judge? Obviously, heâ€™s a star baseball player, but he also loves football especially watching the playoff games. He loves his friends and fellow players; he instead praises a fellow player than talk about himself. He loves dogs and is a big fan of children that love baseball. He is more profound than many may think. His Twitter header carries the Corinthians â€œFor we live by faith, not by sight.â€ His very first post reads as follows:Â
Christian. Faith, Family, then Baseball. â€œIf what you did yesterday still seems big today, then you havenâ€™t done anything today!â€
Judge loves children. He makes every attempt to greet them to sign baseballs and give them his gloves, bat, or cap. He frequently pulls them from the stands so their parents can get a photo of their child with the Yankee star. Many would feel that doing this was a chore but watching Judge, you can tell he loves it, even seeking out young Yankee fans in away parks. It is not uncommon to see him play catch with young New York Yankee fans when there is a play pause.Â
Apparently,Â Aaron Judge is a one-and-done kind of guy, as he culminated a more than ten-year relationship with his high school sweetheart, Samantha Bracksieck, and this weekend, he sealed the deal with a passionate kiss after the pair made their vows. This is even more exciting because the pair managed to keep the impending nuptials mostly secret. Bracksieck was shown months ago with what appeared to be an engagement ring, indicating that an upcoming wedding might be in the books.
The two were married on Saturday, December 11, 2021. It was said to be an intimate wedding with only family and a few of the closest friends in attendance at the Montage Kapalua Bay resort in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. The nuptials were enjoyed oceanside with views of other Hawaiian islands. John J. Judge is Aaronâ€™s older brother. They have different blood in their genes, but that doesnâ€™t prevent them from being two peas in a pod. John and Aaron are very close! John is an educator, as are Aaronsâ€™ parents. Simply put, this hulk of a man is a softy and of high moral values that cherish being a Yankee and all that that involves.
EmpireSportsMedia.comâ€™s Columnist William Parlee is a Society for American Baseball Research member. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.