The mutual respect between Aaron Judge and Barry Bonds has heightened as Judge has emerged as one of the all-time single-season home run leaders.
Judge expressed his appreciation for Bonds early this month in a Chronicle interview when saying he stayed up nights as a kid watching Bonds’ MLB record 73-homer season in 2001 and called him “the greatest hitter of all time.”
Sunday night, during ESPN’s broadcast of the Yankees-Red Sox game, Bonds was interviewed and asked about Judge’s childhood fondness for him.
“I heard that,” said Bonds, who hasn’t met Judge. “I’m cheering for him, man. We’re all fans of the game as well even though we played, but we’re fans of the game, and seeing what he’s doing is amazing.”
Judge finished the weekend with 60 homers, tied with Babe Ruth and one shy of Roger Maris’ American League record. The Yankees left the Bronx and flew to Toronto for a three-game series beginning Monday night.
Home run records have been among the most revered in sports in part because they’re so difficult to achieve. Judge reflected on how Bonds, who was pitched around and walked like no batter in history, rarely got a hittable pitch – “and he didn’t miss it.”
Bonds, appearing on ESPN’s alternative game coverage, on the KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez, plus fellow guest Roger Clemens, said it got especially difficult when he was about to tie a record…