With 27 games remaining in the regular season, including a doubleheader scheduled for Wednesday, the Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge is on pace to hit 65 home runs – an American League record and tops in Major League history if you discount the steroid-era feats of Barry Bonds (73), Mark McGuire (70), and Sammy Sosa (63).
Measuring 6’7” and weighing in at 282 pounds, Judge is colossal in physical size and stature – but stands even taller in reputation as one of baseball’s good guys – a man who prioritizes his Christian faith and credits the love and care of his family for his baseball success.
Drafted by the Yankees in 2013, Aaron Judge is now in his seventh Major League Season. Not since the days of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in the 1960s have the Bronx Bombers had someone with such consistent, explosive power.
Beyond the standout’s sheer muscle and mass, what’s behind his prowess and accomplishments?
“My parents are amazing, they’ve taught me so many lessons,’’ Judge has said. “I honestly can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.’’
Born and raised in the small town of Linden, Calif., Aaron’s parents, Wayne and Patty, adopted him at birth. His older biological brother, John, was adopted at the same time.
“I feel they kind of picked me,” Judge told a reporter. “I feel that God was the one that matched us together.”
Judge’s parents chose not to discuss his adoption with him while he was young, leading Aaron to suspect something was up by the time he was ten.
“I knew I didn’t look like them,” Judge remembers. “So I started asking questions and they told me I was adopted and answered all my questions, and that was that. I was fine with it. It really didn’t bother me because that the only parents I’ve known.”
Judge has said the whole thing was “no big deal.”
But of course, adoption is a big deal – and though the Yankee outfielder might have downplayed it then, he nevertheless recognizes today that his adoptive family played an invaluable role in his development as a believer and ballplayer.
Wayne Judge calls the family’s adoption of Aaron a “miracle,” saying “Words can’t describe how proud of him we are.” After her son mentioned how blessed he was to hail from such a family, his mother, Patty, responded by saying, “We’re more blessed than he is.”
Good families are mutual admiration societies.
Given his beginnings and rise to fame, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the home run leader claims 2 Corinthians 5:7 as his life verse:
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
“It’s one of my favorite Bible verses,” says Judge. “[I] try to live my life by it, and always trust the Man above and what He’s got in store for us. We never know what’s around the corner, but if we have faith in Him, He will lead us in the right direction.”
Baseball fans will be watching Aaron Judge closely as he tries to surpass the near-mythical Maris mark of 61 home runs, all the while helping pull his struggling Yankees across the finish line. But it’s unlikely any of this would be happening if not for a brave birthmother who carried Aaron to term – and then loving parents who poured their hearts and lives into their talented son.
Though not about baseball, the beautiful testimony of adoption will be in theaters beginning this Friday as the award-winning Kendrick Brothers and Kirk Cameron debut their latest film, LIFEMARK.
Here’s how the film is described:
David’s comfortable world is turned upside down when his birthmother unexpectedly reaches out to him, longing to meet the 18-year-old son she’s only held once. With the encouragement of his adoptive parents, David embarks on a journey of discovery that leads to a staggering truth from his past. From executive producers Kirk Cameron and the Kendrick Brothers—creators of War Room and Fireproof—comes LIFEMARK, inspired by an incredible true story that celebrates the gift of life.
From the true inspiring adoption story of Aaron Judge to the true story of this new film, adoption takes center stage these next few weeks – two “home runs” every fan -n even Yankee haters – can happily cheer.