Curt Schilling puts Aaron Judge’s home run mark in historical perspective, reveals his AL MVP

Three-time World Series champion Curt Schilling said Thursday that he recognized Aaron Judge’s 61st home run as tying the “real” home run record, knowing that the New York Yankees slugger didn’t cheat to do it.

Schilling appeared on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” and explained that he doesn’t recognize the home run marks that Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa set during their home run escapades because of their links to performance-enhancing drugs.

“I don’t recognize anything that Sammy or Barry did knowing full well they had cheated. I don’t recognize any of that. That’s just personal,” Schilling said. “To me, that’s how I view it. The same reason why I wouldn’t vote for anybody that I knew did steroids for the Hall of Fame. I just wouldn’t do it. It doesn’t mean they don’t belong, doesn’t mean they aren’t a Hall of Famer, just means I wouldn’t do it.”

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Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling

Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

“I look at this as [Judge] tied the all-time record,” Schilling continued. “As of today, there’s nothing around him or surrounding him where we’re discussing about androstenedione in his locker or a relationship with BALCO or a personal trainer. … Doesn’t mean it won’t happen. … But don’t go to sleep on the fact that this guy’s having one of the greatest offensive seasons in history short of Bonds’ stuff. … His OPS is what some guy coming out of spring training who no one knows has at the end of April, and he fades off as a .250 hitter and goes back to Triple-A.”

Even while Judge makes history in Schilling’s eyes, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher said he didn’t think Judge was the American League MVP.

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New York Yankees' Aaron Judge celebrates his 61st home run of the season, a two-run homer against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning, Sept. 28, 2022, in Toronto.

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge celebrates his 61st home run of the season, a two-run homer against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning, Sept. 28, 2022, in Toronto.
(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

“All of that being said, Shohei Ohtani is still the MVP,” he told Dakich. “You got a guy who has (about) 40 home runs. I know he’s 21 shy of Judge, but the fact of the matter is that he’s going to have 200 innings, 200 and something strikeouts, and he’s going to make 30-something starts, and he’s having a better year this year than he was having last year. You want to talk about value, that’s the ultimate value right there.”

Judge has Triple Crown-worthy numbers, leading the AL in home runs (61), RBI (130) and batting average (.313) all while leading the Yankees to the American League East title.

Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, is hitting .273 with 34 home runs. He has a 2.47 ERA with 203 strikeouts in 153 innings pitched. All of his key pitching metrics are better than last year.

The debate over who has the “real record” for home runs in a single season will rage on throughout the baseball world. Roger Maris Jr. made his side clear on Wednesday when Judge tied the record set by his father, Roger Maris, in 1961.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees runs the bases after hitting his 61st home run of the season during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sept. 28, 2022, in Toronto.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees runs the bases after hitting his 61st home run of the season during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sept. 28, 2022, in Toronto.
(Cole Burston/Getty Images)

But for Judge, it will always be Barry Bonds’ 73 that he holds in high regard.

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“Seventy-three is the record,” Judge told Sports Illustrated earlier this month. “In my book. No matter what people want to say about that era of baseball, for me, they went out there and hit 73 homers and 70 homers, and that to me is what the record is. The AL record is 61, so that is one I can kind of try to go after. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s been a fun year so far.”

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