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Aaron Judge Has Shot at More Than Home Run History, So Does Another All-Star

The Yankees slugger has sizeable leads in two Triple Crown categories, while Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is in the top three for each.

Just a few blasts away from tying Roger Maris’ 61 home runs, Aaron Judge seems destined to reset the American League and Yankees record for longballs in a season. But the outfielder also has an outside shot at making a different type of history.

Judge is in contention for the American League Triple Crown, a rare honor for players who lead their league in batting average, home runs and RBI (there is also a version for pitchers). There have only been 22 different Triple Crown winners in baseball history, and no one has achieved it since Miguel Cabrera did it in 2012.

There’s also only been one year, 1933, when both leagues had a Triple Crown winner (Jimmie Foxx and Chuck Klein), but Judge and Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt could defy the odds and repeat that feat with a little luck.

Judge, for his part, has sizeable leads in two of the three categories with just a few weeks left in the season.

With the Yankees off on Thursday, Judge’s 57 home runs easily lead all of baseball. Entering play on Sept. 15, Angels outfielder Mike Trout was second in the American League with 35 home runs. His two-way teammate – and an MVP rival to Judge – Shohei Ohtani, was third with 34 dingers.

Judge’s 123 RBI also gave him a double-digit lead over Guardians third baseman José Ramírez, who has 111. No other American leaguer has cracked the 100 RBI plateau.

No. 99’s biggest obstacle to a Triple Crown is batting average. Judge’s .310 average would be a career-high if the season ended right away, but that figure puts him fourth in the American League. Judge trails Minnesota’s Luis Arraez (.320), Boston’s Xander Bogaerts (.317) and Chicago’s José Abreu (.313).

Those marks are not insurmountable, though Judge certainly has some ground to make up.

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“Some great guys have done it,” Judge recently said of the Triple Crown, per the New York Post. “Thinking back to Cabrera who did it last, I believe, it’s pretty special. But I think I’m a long way away from that, so we don’t need to talk about that.”

Goldschmidt, meanwhile, has more of an uphill climb, though he is in the top three for each category in the National League.

He and Mets first baseman Pete Alonso both have 35 home runs, third most in the Senior Circuit. Braves first baseman Austin Riley has 36, while Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber leads the NL with 38 bombs.

Goldschmidt’s 110 RBI are second to Alonso’s 112. They are the only National League players with at least 100 RBI so far. Goldschmidt is also second in average (.324). He trails Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (.329).

Only two Yankees have ever won the Triple Crown for hitting. Mickey Mantle last did it in 1956 when he hit .353 with 52 homers and 130 RBI. Lou Gehrig also won in 1934 with a .363 average, 49 home runs and 166 RBI.

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