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Aaron Judge Joins Thurman Munson As Only Yankees to Win MVP and Rookie of the Year

Munson also held the title of captain. Perhaps he and Judge could share that distinction too if the latter re-signs with the Yankees.

Aaron Judge became the 14th Yankee to win a Most Valuable Player Award on Thursday night, and just the second to have also won a Rookie of the Year Award.

Thurman Munson is the only other player in franchise history to have earned both prizes in pinstripes. The catcher won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1970 before taking home the MVP award in 1976. Judge won Rookie of the Year in 2017.

The first Rookie of the Year Award was given in 1947 – to Dodgers trailblazer Jackie Robinson, whom the accolade has since been named after – so early Yankees MVPs like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio never had a shot at winning both. Still, the shared feat between Munson and Judge stands out in New York’s illustrious, award-filled history.

Judge, who received 28 of 30 first-place MVP votes, is a free agent for the first time after resetting the American League and Yankees single-season home run records with 62 longballs in 2022. The outfielder also slashed .311/.425/.686 with 131 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a 211 OPS+.

Naturally, his free agency was the biggest story in baseball before the MVP award became official.

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The Yankees and Judge have reiterated their desire to continue their partnership, with both sides doing so as recently as Thursday night after Judge’s win was announced. If that happens, Judge could end up sharing another distinction with Munson: the title of captain.

A few teammates have said the role should come with Judge’s next contract if he stays in New York, and owner Hal Steinbrenner recently told the YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits the organization would consider it.

Munson, who spent his entire career in the Bronx, served as the Yankees’ captain from 1976-1979 before his tragic death in a plane crash. Derek Jeter was New York’s most recent captain, filling the role from 2003-2014. 

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