Aaron Judge reflects on road to 62: 'It's been fun'

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By the second game of Tuesday night’s doubleheader, many wondered if Aaron Boone should consider sitting Aaron Judge, and all but conceding the superstar’s quest for 62 in favor of resting the team’s MVP, who had started in 54 straight games.

Judge, after weeks of national spotlight, hyped anticipation for every pitch of every at-bat, and playing every day, looked to be wearing down in the opening game of Tuesday’s twin bill, even slamming his helmet in the dugout in a rare display of frustration after popping out on a hanging slider.

But Judge needed just three pitches to put those concerns to rest on Tuesday night, drilling No. 62 in his first at-bat of the game before getting that much-deserved rest afterward, when he was taken out and received another loud ovation from the Texas crowd.

Afterward, Judge wouldn’t say if the process had begun to wore him down, and while he was relieved, he more enjoyed the unprecedented road to 62.

“It’s been fun,” Judge said. “We’re winning ballgames, getting a chance to do this at Yankee Stadium, on the road in front of a packed house. This is what it’s about.

“You dream about stuff like this. To get a chance to do this in real life, and experience this, to have all my family and friends here and to do it with this group of guys that I grind with every single day, that’s what makes this so special.”

The atmosphere surrounding Judge’s chase for history was unlike any other. His trip to the plate was met with deafening applause and chants of “MVP,” only to immediately turn to a hushed silence before every pitch, the sellout crowds holding its collective breath in anticipation of that pitch perhaps being the one that would make them a part of history. The vicious boos hurled towards an opposing pitcher any time they dared to throw a pitch out of the zone, or even boos at Judge himself by Tuesday’s opening game, when he grounded out.

Now, all of that is over, and Judge can turn his attention to his bigger objective: making history in the playoffs.

“It’s a big relief,” Judge said. “Now everybody can sit down in their seats and watch a ballgame. It’s been a fun ride so far, getting to do this with the team we’ve got and the guys surrounding me, the constant support from my family…it’s been a great honor.”

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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