One of the secrets of Baseball is that many of the official records are not actually the most, or the least, in the history of the sport.
So Nolan Ryan’s record for Major League single season strikeouts of 383 in 1973 is not eclipsed by Matt Kilroy’s 513 in 1886, because Ryan was 60'6" from the plate, and Kilroy was 50'0", and a walk in 1886 was 6 rather than the 4 balls that it is now.
The reason that I am discussing this is that New York Yankee (F%$# the F%$#ing Yankees†) right fielder Aaron Judge hits home run number 62, beating Roger Maris’ AL record of 61 set in 1961.
Since Maris set the single season record, beating Babe Ruth’s 60 in 1927, a matter of some unjustified controversy, since Ruth achieved this in a 154 game season while Maris achieved this in a 162 game season.
Maris was in fact treated horribly for the rest of his career, and unjustly denied a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and his record was generally denoted by an asterisk, because of the 8 additional games.
So Judge is unquestionably the record holder for the American League, but in the National League, Sammy Sosa (66), Mark McGuire (70), and Barry Bonds (73) all hit more, but they were using so many performance enhancing chemicals that they probably struck sparks running around the bases.
This does raise an interesting question, “What is a record?”
For me, the gargantuan ballplayer, he is 6 feet 7 inches (200.7 cm) tall and weighs 282 pounds (127.9 kg), is the holder of the single season home run record.
This is obviously not a definitive opinion. I do not think that a definitive opinion on this is even possible.
You might want to listen to Kieth Olbermann’s podcast for his opinion, he says all of this better than I can, and he knows way more about “America’s Pastime” than I could ever hope to know.
†In memoriam blogger Steve Gilliard, dedicated Mets fan.