Thirty-one years ago on April 26, 1992, a little boy by the name of Aaron James Judge was born. The next day, he was adopted.
In the three-plus decades since, Judge has gone from multi-sport high school athlete to Fresno State first-rounder and now MLB's most prolific home run hitter. Judge tied Babe Ruth's mark for 60 home runs in a single season last year, then went on to break Roger Maris' American League record of 61, which baseball purists considered the MLB record.
As much as Judge has accomplished and will continue to accomplish — including breaking Maris' 61-year-old record and finishing with an American League-record 62 long balls — none of it would have been possible without his parents, Patty and Wayne Judge.
Aaron Judge's Adoption Story
At some point during his childhood, Judge noticed he looked different from his parents. He was also significantly bigger than them — or anyone else for that matter.
So he asked his parents what was up.
"I think it was like, 'I don't look like you, Mom. I don't look like you, Dad. Like, what's going on here?'" Judge told MLB.com. "They just kind of told me I was adopted. I was like, 'OK, that's fine with me.' You're still my mom, the only mom I know. You're still my dad, the only dad I know.
"Nothing really changed. I honestly can't even remember too much, because it wasn't that big of a deal. They just told me I was adopted, and I said, 'OK, can I go outside and play?'"
Both his mom and dad worked as school teachers in Linden, California. They had another son, Judge's brother, named John, who worked as teacher in South Korea as recently as 2017, per USA Today.
He Doesn't Know His Biological Parents, And He Doesn't Want To
Contrary to what you might think, Judge has never felt the need to know his birth parents. His adoption was a closed one. I gotta be honest, though, I want to know the pair that produced the 6-foot-7, 282-pound monster.
"I have one set of parents, the ones that raised me. That's how it is," Judge told Newsday.
Patty and Wayne raised one heck of a player and a man. On the field, Judge won American League Rookie of the Year in 2017, is a four-time All-Star and has blasted more than 200 home runs. Off the field, he's founded the All Rise Foundation, which "inspires children and youth to become responsible citizens by engaging them in activities that encourage them to reach unlimited possibilities."
And even Judge admits he's a momma's boy. He still calls her all the time, even when he was busy chasing records.
#Yankees #AaronJudge is all smiles with him mom & dad, after getting the news that he was unanimously voted the American League's Rookie of the Year! (In case you were wondering - Judge was adopted by Patty and Wayne Judge the day after he was born back in April 1992) pic.twitter.com/fyNFZ0WX2Z
— Bruce Verlato (@BruceVerlato) November 14, 2017
"I know I wouldn't be a New York Yankee if it wasn't for my mom," Judge said. "The guidance she gave me as a kid growing up, knowing the difference from right and wrong, how to treat people and how to go the extra mile and put in extra work, all that kind of stuff. She's molded me into the person that I am today."
As for dad? Well, that would be Judge's hero.
"He's always been my hero, always a guy I looked up to," Judge told People.com.
"Looking back on those childhood memories, I could tell he didn't want to do it," Judge said about playing countless games of catch. "I could tell he was tired. He'd had a long day of work. But he never said no. He never complained, nothing. So for me, that's why he's still the hero in my eyes."
Who's cutting onions in here? I need to go re-watch "Field of Dreams" now.
For Aaron Judge's parents, their son's 2017 season was like a magical dream that seemingly never ended. pic.twitter.com/lcNJOSMXEh
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 4, 2018
When Judge hit his 60th home run of the 2022 season, tying Babe Ruth's single-season mark, he was quick to embrace his wife, Samantha Bracksieck, as well as his parents inside Yankee Stadium. They were all in attendance when he hit No. 62, too.
Judge and the rest of the baseball world may never know his birth parents, but it's pretty clear that doesn't matter. Because without Wayne and Patty Judge, there is no Aaron Judge.
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