Aaron Judge has wasted no time becoming a fan favorite in the Bronx. The Yankees rookie right fielder is the leading the American League in votes in All-Star Game balloting. Judge is currently leading the majors in home runs with 18, and is on an nine-game hitting streak during which time he’s hitting .382 with three homers and 11 RBI. Judge hit .179 with four home runs in 84 at-bats late last season but is now sixth in the AL with a .328 average.
Before he was a 6’7″ 282 pound star in right field at Yankee Stadium, Judge grew up in Linden, California watching the San Francisco Giants.
It was good timing as the Giants were consistently making the playoffs with Barry Bonds although it was a Brooklyn native that was Judge’s favorite player. Judge took a minute to talk to NY Sports Day about being a Giants fan.
NY Sports Day: I was reading that Rich Aurilia was your favorite player. I was wondering how a 6’1″ shortstop became your favorite.
Aaron Judge: He wore 35 and that was my dad’s favorite number, so as a kid my favorite number growing up was 35. And the Giants were my favorite team, and he was 35. I just liked him. I just really like how he played. And I think I was playing shortstop in Little League at the time too, so it just kind of all fit.
NYSD: Did you get to a lot of Giants games?
AJ: A couple. But we watched a lot on TV at night. After school, after homework and just come home and turn on the game with my dad and mom and just kind of watch them.
NYSD: Did you try to play like Aurilia?
AJ: Yeah. I copied his batting stance when I was a little kid in little league. I was all crouched down. I was a taller kid but I was crouched down like he was when he played.
NYSD: How much did that ’02 World Series hurt?
AJ: It was a tough one but it was fun to watch.