Free agent slugger Aaron Judge named Time's Athlete of the Year

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

While the baseball world and nervous New York Yankees fans await Aaron Judge's free agency decision between the Yankees and San Francisco Giants, the 2022 AL MVP seems to be having an enjoyable few days.

Before he signs a free agent contract worth $300 million or more, Judge was in Tampa, Florida, for "Monday Night Football." Sporting a Mike Evans Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey, Judge took in the Bucs 17-16 win over the New Orleans Saints. He also met up with Tom Brady who tried to recruit the 6-foot-7 Judge to give football a try.

Then, on Tuesday morning, the slugger was named Time's Athlete of the Year. The magazine, which is set to name its list of People of the Year for 2022, also announced its entertainer and icon of the year.

Time compared Judge's season, which included hitting 66 home runs and breaking the AL single-season home run record, to Steph Curry's NBA title run and the farewells of tennis legends Serena Williams and Roger Federer.

"Sports fans hold individual records dear, and no game cherishes its numbers quite like the national pastime," the magazine wrote about Judge. "Many fans and pundits even consider Judge the 'authentic' single-season home-run champ, given that all the National League players who've hit more than Judge -- Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1998, 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999) -- did so under a cloud of steroid suspicion."

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