Commentary

Aaron Judge, for now, the latest in a long line not to make history on Red Sox

Despite an 86-year span without a title, the Red Sox have had very few opponents reach a milestone mark against them.

Aaron Judge, Yankees fans, and the Red Sox dugout watch Judge's high fly ball soar toward the fence.
Aaron Judge's skyscraper fell just feet short of the center-field netting at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. Sarah Stier/Getty Images

COMMENTARY

Always fun to see the ol’ Trupiano Camera make an appearance, as the Red Sox dodge historical notoriety for one more day.

When Aaron Judge blasted a 2-and-2, ninth-inning fastball from Matt Barnes into the Bronx sky on Thursday night, it should have been a home run. That’s not partisanship, but precedent: Balls hit that hard, that high have almost always been monster homers in this era where we can put numbers to such things.

Alas, a guy whose prior 60 have been largely bereft of Yankee Stadium cheapos — only two of Judge’s home runs have been only-in-the-Bronx jobs — made his second 400-foot out of the year. The other one came against the Red Sox as well: Remember Kiké Hernández’s leaping catch at the wall on opening weekend?

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The home-plate camera didn’t fly toward the stratosphere that day to track the ball, because it wasn’t flying toward being No. 61. Thus, Thursday’s fakeout that set social media ablaze. The Trupiano, as I call it, a reference to NESN’s habit of occasionally pulling the trick on fly balls toward the Monster, and to Joe Castiglione’s longtime color man who roared “way back, WAY BACK” on his fair share of outs to the track.

(New York’s John Sterling was not fooled Thursday, in a moderate surprise.)

And so, the chase goes to Friday, where Apple TV+’s bizarre broadcast presentation of advanced stats mixed with “you’ve never seen a baseball game before” energy might give us the launch angle of Judge’s record-tying blast right before explaining what Monument Park is.

Honestly, I hope Judge does it this weekend. He’s going to get there. Get there on the grandest stage, against your rival. (And the team you’re going to sign with this winter, shouted a corner of the internet!)

The Red Sox make a heck of a background player to history. Perhaps because it happens relatively rarely.

The immediate leap is to Roger Maris, whose 61st homer of 1961 came off the Red Sox and rookie Tracy Stallard in the season finale. Dan Shaughnessy hit a lot of the particulars in the Globe earlier in the week, but I’ll add one more: Maris’s 61st came in his second at-bat of the game. In his first, he hit a shot to left that rookie Carl Yastrzemski just ran down.

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“Had it gotten by Yaz, it would have been an inside-the-park home run because Maris is one of the fastest men on the Yankees,” wrote the Globe’s Bob Holbrook in his game account, with a quote from Yankees manager Ralph Houk that “they would have been arguing about that for years.”

Try to imagine Aaron Judge making No. 61 or 62 an inside-the-parker. Good golly.

My mind also jumps to the end of the exerable 2001 season, and Mike Mussina’s near perfect game at Fenway Park as the Joe Kerrigan Experience circled the bowl. That it was Carl Everett, on a bloop single . . . even in the moment, it felt like pulling against the Red Sox was the move that night.

That, however, ended up with the Red Sox avoiding being the foil in one of just 23 MLB perfect games.

There’s been a lot of that in franchise history. A history that, stretched across more than 120 years, is almost always the one making the individual history.

The Red Sox have never given up a 500th home run, and have only once given up a 3,000th hit — Ty Cobb’s in 1921, when radio broadcasts of baseball games were a new thing and newspaper accounts in both Boston and Detroit the next day didn’t so much as note the honor.

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The Sox have only been no-hit 12 times, and just twice since Dave Righetti’s July 4 gem in 1983. Heck, the Rays were no-hit three times in a calendar year in 2009-10, a stretch that also included them winning a division title.

Boston’s foibles are more team-centric, as you’re well aware. When the Sox lose a World Series, they lose them in style. But moments like what Judge is about to do are largely not part of their history.

Three more days to avoid Judge writing another chapter against them.

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