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Will Roger Maris Jr. Ever Go Away?

Stephen Douglas
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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The 2022 MLB regular season is drawing to a close. The New York Yankees currently sit at 97-61 with four games remaining against the Texas Rangers. They have clinched the AL East and the second-best record in the American League. The only thing they have left to play for is getting Aaron Judge his 62nd home run, which would break Roger Maris' American League record of 61. We should all be rooting for that so that Roger Maris Jr. can be set free to leave our lives.

Maris appeared out of nowhere as Judge closed in on the 60-home run threshold in the last few weeks. He seemed to be on television as much as Judge. When Judge finally hit 61, Maris was right there next to Judge's mother for a hug.

Heartwarming.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the that'll do pig moment it should have been. The Roger Maris Jr. exposure has only intensified in the days since. He's seemingly become emboldened since Judge hit 61. Maybe there's something to being constantly asked to explain why 61 is greater than 73. It's a lie, but we fight on that lie. It feels like every day someone is explaining why he believes this to be true.

Then on Sunday we got this.

No. Here's the thing about the different home run records in 1961 - nobody cares about them six decades later. There's one list. One record. Noting how many games it took or what kinds of chemicals were in people's bodies are nothing but footnotes. They don't actually matter when we're counting something.

And if you want an independent arbiter, it's not the son of one of the guys.

We don't need to hear from Roger Maris Jr. to know his opinion on Roger Maris' home runs. We get it. And we don't need to keep hearing about it. Just like we aren't going to need to hear Aaron Judge's son 40 years from now going on and on about how Judge is the true home run king because he hit 61 home runs in fewer games and plate appearances than Roger Maris because that would be obnoxious.

So please let this be the end of the Roger Maris Jr. era. If it means Judge has to hit one more home run, then so be it. And Roger Maris Jr. can quietly think about how his dad is the second best when really he hit the 8th most home runs in a season. Let Judge and the fans argue that he hit the most real home runs. And let Roger Maris Jr. leave us in peace.

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