There are certain perks to being a New York Yankee for life, though the heat of the moment can get a little dicey at times.
When Aaron Judge tussled midway through the 2022 postseason, which ultimately resulted in a four-game ALCS sweep against the Houston Astros, the crowd voiced their displeasure at the whole thing teams exertion by ridicule. The screams grew louder as the team’s performance became more and more exasperating, and although any interviewee would have told you they still would loved Judging through and through, it’s true that the boos focused on the team’s MVP as leaks surfaced throughout the roster.
In October, those boos were cited as an example of the Yankees fans’ incorrigibility. If they can’t even appreciate their own star-making records and surpassing Roger Maris, then what will want do you appreciate? And why should he stay?
But then something funny happened. Anthony Rizzo was the first to return, citing comfort with the Yankees organization and significant unfinished business. The judge then dismissed the idea of returning to his childhood home in the Bay Area and urged Hal Steinbrenner to cut a deal, assuring the team that he wanted to be a Yankee for life.
Now that Judge’s future is secure and his captaincy has been declared, he’s poised to receive the key to the city, both literally (via Mayor Eric Adams) and figuratively. No. 99 attended a Drake concert at the Apollo Theater over the weekend and was spotted, which suddenly became the center of attention.
Watch as an embarrassed judge tries to shrug, “Let’s Go Yankees!” chants while basking in it too. He’s earned it, and it’s what he faces if he can continue as a magnet and championship engine for the Yankees.
Yankees star Aaron Judge feels “Let’s Go Yankees” chanted at Drake’s concert at the Apollo Theater
Judge is an enigma in that his quiet and reserved personality clashes with his documented ability to effectively be the face of MLB’s marquee franchise in its largest city.
Still, it’s a role that Judge fills pretty well, making time for fans big and small while shouldering a tremendous offensive load and skyrocketing expectations.
He’s settled on nine more years, as well as post-career decades, to bask in his legacy (and yes, there’s a sizable lump sum). The judge may not always be the most famous man in the room, but more often than not he will be.
On Sunday night at Drake’s concert/spring training vibe reset, it felt like Judge stole the man’s attention and admiration on stage for a few minutes. In reality, however, he only loaned it to the Toronto rapper for the duration of the show; The city and its energy belong entirely to Judge.