Friday night at Minute Maid Park, history was made when top New York Yankees prospect Jasson Domínguez -- on his first swing -- as a big leaguer. He is the youngest Yankee ever to homer in his first game, and the youngest Yankee to hit a home run period since Bobby Murcer in 1965. The Yankees won the game 6-2 (box score).
There was more history later in the game as well. Reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge took reigning AL Cy Young Justin Verlander deep in the fifth inning for his 250th career home run. Here is the milestone blast:
Judge hit his 250th home run in his 810th career game and is the fastest to the milestone by far. The previous record-holder was former NL MVP Ryan Howard, who hit his 250th home run in his 855th career game. Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner is the only other player to reach 250 career home runs in fewer than 900 games. He did it in 871 games.
"I really don't think about it," Judge told the New York Post about being the fastest to 250 homers. "When you see the guys that are on the list, especially Ryan Howard, who was one of the greatest power hitters ... it's pretty cool to be on that list."
Friday's homer also moved Judge into the top 10 all-time in Yankees history. Here is the franchise home run leaderboard:
- Babe Ruth: 659
- Mickey Mantle: 536
- Lou Gehrig: 493
- Joe DiMaggio: 361
- Yogi Berra: 358
- Alex Rodriguez: 351
- Bernie Williams: 287
- Jorge Posada: 275
- Derek Jeter: 260
- Aaron Judge and Graig Nettles: 250
The Yankees have 27 games remaining and, with a well-timed hot streak, Judge is fully capable of hitting the 10 homers he needs to catch Jeter in those 27 games. He's hit 10 homers in his last 22 games, for example. Judge has another eight years remaining on his contract and could climb as high as fourth on the franchise home run leaderboard, possibly even higher.
Injuries and the shortened pandemic season have cut into Judge's career home run total. Because of time of the IL, he played only 242 of 384 possible regular season games from 2018-20, and earlier this year he missed 54 games because of hip and toe injuries. Had he stayed healthy, Judge very likely would have been over 300 career home runs already, possibly well over.
The 31-year-old Judge owns a .265/.392/.622 line with 30 homers in 81 games this season. He has gone deep at roughly the same rate as last season -- an MLB-best 11.6 plate appearances per homer -- when he swatted an American League record 62 dingers.