Aaron Judge is the most influential player in the Major Leagues


Taylor Shimek, Student Journalist

Aaron Judge, the 6’7” right fielder for the New York Yankees, is more than just a household name. In fact, he’s a valuable player and driven individual that deserves the title of most influential player in the Major Leagues.

His parents, Patty and Wayne Judge are the reason for his determination. They’ve only ever wanted him to be a good person, his athletic ability was just a perk. He displayed this mindset at a young age when, before basketball practice, he and his teammates would wake up early to clear the streets of trash.

Additionally, his parents always encouraged education first which he pursued after declining to play in 2010 during the MLB draft. Instead, he attended California State University where he played for the Fresno State Bulldogs.

After completing his education he was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 draft, the team that he’s grown with for almost 30 years. His most important accomplishment as a part of the team is the record he holds for the most home runs, hitting his 62nd on October 4 of 2022. Recalling the pressure he faced to please his fans during this time he says, “I thought I had let them down if I had a 2-for-4 game or 1-for-4 game with a couple walks. I never tried to think about it as pressure. I tried to enjoy every single moment.” He received the “Silver Slugger” and “Player’s Choice” awards which are voted for by coaches and players. These achievements reflect who he is as a teammate along with the effort he puts on and off-field.

Judge attributes his being on the Yankees to his mother’s influence. He explains he wouldn’t be the person he is today if not for, “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.”

The two work together on his All Rise Foundation. It’s purpose is to inspire children to become responsible citizens by providing support and encouraging the idea that there are limitless possibilities for their future. The program includes community service work and outlets for children who don’t have readily available resources. Creating opportunities to pass on his wisdom, he’s created camps and workshops for the next generation of athletes to work on their skills and mindset. In a speech to 200 little leaguers during his first ever All Rise ProCamp he says, “For me, it’s always about having a good attitude. Treat your teammates with respect, put them first and do everything you can for the team — and your team will do pretty well.”