The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge made history in Arlington on Tuesday and Yankee fans are thanking the Texas Rangers for it.
You heard that right. New York fans are grateful the Rangers pitched to Judge, and many are now pitching money to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation to show their gratitude.
Judge broke former Yankee Roger Maris’ record for most home runs hit by an American League player in a single season (61). Judge broke the 61-year record with a high fly ball into the left field stands just after the 7:05 p.m. game at Globe Life Field started.
The home run was Judge’s 62nd on the year and etched the Yankees slugger’s place in the history books.
After Judge tied Maris’ record on Sept. 28 against the Toronto Blue Jays, every at-bat for the slugger since had been a slow burn of frustration for New York fans. In Baltimore, the Orioles walked Judge four times and was hit by a pitch in three games.
The Yankees were in Arlington Oct. 3 for the final series of the regular season. Rangers pitcher Jesús Tinoco challenged Judge. Texas chose to pitch to him and not around him.
The decision warmed Yankees hearts.
After Judge’s 62nd home run, the Yankees subreddit lit up with fans saying they should give back to the Rangers for challenging the slugger. The post mentioned that the Rangers went after Judge and gave him a chance to break the record, unlike other teams.
In their act of giving back, the Yankees fans targeted and donated to the Rangers charity. The organization offers youth health services, baseball and softball camps, scholarships and aid to the community.
Many of the fans talked about leaving donations that began or ended with “99” for Judge’s jersey number or “62” for the record-breaking home run. Out of the nearly 100 comments, most of the users agreed to donate what they could to the Rangers’ foundation.
One Yankees fan even mentioned how they always liked the Rangers since they were the team that traded slugger Alex Rodriguez to New York back in 2004. Rodriguez would, of course, go on to win a World Series with the Yankees in 2009 and win two more American League MVP awards in 2005 and 2007 during his pinstripe tenure.
The Texas Rangers have received a number of donations over the past 20 hours with “62” as a common theme, such as $20.62, said John Blake, Rangers executive vice president of public affairs.
“We project at this point we have received several thousand dollars in donations from Yankees fans,” Blake said on Wednesday.
The Rangers have also received plenty of positive feedback from Yankees fans, with Blake sharing this example:
“In honor of the Rangers players, coaches, staff and fans for being downright hospitable and gracious folks. Thanks for hosting the Yanks and Judge for HR #62. I’m glad he hit it in the company of such fine people.”
The Rangers and Yankees played the last game of the regular MLB season on Wednesday. The Yankees are continuing on into the postseason.