All Height: Aaron Judge and Why It Matters

In the 1927 baseball season, Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, notable for not only being the most to that date, but the most to date. The previous three records he broke were his own, the previous one was 16, so scoring 60 in one season was unbelievable. This was more than hitting some entire teams in one season. Ruth scored 60 times in one season and lasted until 1961, when Roger Maris managed to score 61 times. This was the record until October 4.The tenth 2022, when Aaron Judge hit his 62second abbreviation home run. This is a wonderful and inspiring story for reasons that I will explain in detail.

But readers who follow baseball will surely notice, isn’t the previous paragraph blatantly inaccurate? “I totally overlooked,” they think to themselves, “the fact that in 1998, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa both hit 61: they’re 70 and 66 to be exact! Sosa actually had three seasons, and McGwire had two. Then in 2001, Barry Bonds turned 73. So, sure, this author must have meant that Judge’s achievement was setting a new mark. American League The record, as McGuire, Souza and Bonds were all National League players.”

I’m sure record runners will list the judge as the AL record holder, not the major league record holder. But keep in mind that McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds were all hitting in the “steroid age,” when power-hitters were known to use “juice” with performance-enhancing drugs. By the time the judge came, baseball was testing such drugs. So Judge has an AL record, arguably a major league record.

Baseball fans love arguing, perhaps more than philosophers, so there will be plenty of opinions from both sides here. Some might argue that Steroid-Era records don’t really or shouldn’t count, because PEDs distorted the game in the same way that subsidies distort the market.

But others will notice that the game changes all the time, so we have to take the records in context. Ruth, for example, turned 60 at a time when a season consisted of 154 games. When the Maris played, the baseball season was 162 games. Could Ruth have had more home runs if he had played eight more games? We will never know. Also, in Ruth’s days, baseball was separate, so we’d never know if he had more or fewer teammates if the Negro League pitchers were up against him. But, we take these steps in stride and score for Roth 60 and 61 for Maris. Why, the argument goes, shouldn’t we also record the records of steroid-era hitters?

Interestingly, the judge himself said that he considered the record 73. He is, according to all reports, an elegant and modest player, for whom the success of the team is more important than his personal statistics. It’s thanks to his personality that he feels that way. By contrast, Maris’ son said he thought Steroid-Era’s records shouldn’t count, but was happy to see Judge break his father’s record, precisely because Judge plays clean.

The record books will say what they say, and baseball fans will argue for decades to come. At the bare minimum, we know Judge has the MLS record. Anyway, this is a noteworthy landmark and one reason he is To judge cleanly, he is a good athlete and a good teammate, and by all accounts a man of good character. When someone is reported to be a good person, who also has exceptional talent, accomplishing something remarkable, everyone should appreciate and celebrate it. While baseball “doesn’t matter” in one sense, it does matter as a symbol of excellence and achievement. Athletes don’t literally save lives when they compete, but they can articulate the virtues in a way that communicates very clearly to others.

Celebrating excellence is always justified, and the kind of achievement we see in Aaron Judge is an exemplary and publicly accessible. It shows us what the right attitude towards great character and achievement in our lives should be. In a way, this takes the needle off Steroid-Era triggers, whose use for chemical performance improvements can be seen as cutting corners, or pursuing an unfair advantage. This is a useful analogy for those whose businesses succeed because they have built a better mousetrap, versus those who thrive because they have taken advantage of political attraction to secure an unfair advantage in the marketplace. The latter will get you on the Fortune 500 list, but it doesn’t guarantee a celebration from the rest of us, because that doesn’t mean “fair play.”

While we might have to say the judge holds “only” the MLS record, he deserves to be celebrated because of his personality and fair play. Judge is an all-star baseball champion whose accomplishments illustrate the relationship between virtue and success in a way that can be beneficial outside of the sport.

Everyone goes up, in fact.

Eun J Scoble

Ion J. Scoble is the Bruce and Patricia Bartlett Chair in Freedom of Speech and Expression at Bridgewater State University. He is also Professor of Philosophy and co-coordinator of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program. Skoble received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Temple University.

he is an author Delisting the state: an argument for government (Open Court, 2008) and Principal Robert Nozick (Fraser Institute, 2020), editor Reading Rasmussen and Den Uyl: Critical Essays on the Standards of Freedom (Lexington Books, 2008), and co-editor of Political philosophy: an essential anthology (Prentice-Hall, 1999) and Reality, reason and rights (Lexington Books, 2011).

Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed

Get notified of new articles from Aeon J. Skoble and AIER.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *