Aaron Judge: The Gaveling Giant

New York Yankees Aaron Judge (#99). (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Sports Op-Ed

(WTNH) — Gavel, or gaveling. Its definition, to bring (a hearing or person) to order by use of a gavel.

Anyone that’s tuned into baseball this season can’t help but notice New York Yankee right field rookie sensation Aaron Judge doing just that to his opposing pitchers.

You don’t have to tell the fans in the Bronx about the man. They’ve already established a cheering section out in the right field stands inside Yankee Stadium, titled The Judge’s Chambers.

Every home game you’ll see them out there wearing black robes, white wigs, holding gavels, and signs that read ‘All Rise’, celebrating all of his wonderment using the slugger’s last name in every creative way possible.

jchambers Aaron Judge: The Gaveling Giant
Fans of New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge react in Yankee Stadium’s right field dubbed “The Judge’s Chambers” after the 6’7 outfielder threw a ball in their direction during a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in New York, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

I haven’t been to a Yankees game this season. But I can just picture any Red Sox fan that walks near this fan box after a Judge home run will hear from Yanks fans quoting famous movie courtroom lines such as “You’re out of order” from Al Pacino in And Justice For All. Or “You can’t handle the truth”, from Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.

The right field slugger looks more like a defensive end in the NFL. Or an elite Special Forces soldier that eats nails for breakfast.

As if his stature wasn’t enough, standing at six feet, seven inches tall, and weighing somewhere around 275 pounds, Judge is tearing up the league in triple crown fashion.

He leads the American League in All-Star voting with over 1.8 million. He has won Rookie of the Month for April and May, and might be on his way to winning the month of June as well.

He leads the MLB in exit velocities off his bat, owning the top four recorded numbers in that category this season from anywhere between 119 to 121.1 mph.

He has hit the longest recorded home run in the majors this season at 495 feet.

He’s even smashed a new flatscreen TV in the newly-constructed outfield terrace nestled behind center field in Yankee Stadium during one batting practice. Now that’s entertainment!

As of today, he’s stolen 5 bases, his batting average is .341, has 57 runs (tied for 1st in MLB), 22 home runs (1st), and 49 runs batted in (tied for 6th).

hrjudge Aaron Judge: The Gaveling Giant
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge watches a home run during the first inning of the team’s baseball game as Baltimore Orioles catcher Welington Castillo, right, watches Saturday, June 10, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Judge has produced all of these numbers, and we’re about 20 games shy of the halfway point to the regular season.

I mean, what’s next? Is he going to leap tall buildings in a single bound?

Judge has stormed into New York like a super human character every man or boy has come to love and admire. Like the tall tales of William Wallace, consuming the English in the battle field with fire balls coming out of his eyes to protect the people of Scotland.

It’s been quite the season thus far for the gaveling giant. Judge has been bringing pitchers to order from home plate like few have ever seen from a ballplayer just starting out his major league career.

Forget DC Comics. This is the real Justice League. Judge, the superhero. His bat, a gavel. Using it to crank out his sentences with each swing. Punishing his pitching nemesis outlaws that are intruding on his home plate coverage.

They send him case after case of all sorts of pitches; hard pitches, soft pitches, breaking balls, heaters or sliders. But Judge remains patient at the plate and sends them over the fence with ferocious tenacity.

He has become must-watch TV in the baseball world. His team is enjoying the show as well. In one of the funnier ball club traditions I’ve ever seen, Judge’s teammate Didi Gregorius holds 5 foot 8 inch Ronald Torreyes seated in his arms at waist level waiting to give Judge a high-five upon his return to the dugout following one of his round trippers, making fun of their height differential.

high five Aaron Judge: The Gaveling Giant
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, center, celebrates his two-run home run with teammates in the dugout during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 12, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Last season, Judge did not qualify as a rookie as he only appeared in 27 games at 24-years-old. He struggled at the plate batting only .179, striking out an astounding 42 times in just 84 at-bats. So to say that he has turned things around this year would be a massive understatement. Judge has already developed, in his young career, the ability to turn on the ball on inside pitches, sending balls to the opposite field while cutting down on his strikeout rate.

But the most cherished quality about him of all, perhaps is his disposition.

The way he has carried himself on the field, in the dugout, and in the locker room, has set the tone for the Yankees in helping them turn back into a first place team. Check out any interview of Judge following a game (including ours). No matter the barrage of questions thrown at him, he always refuses to talk about himself, deferring his answers to the accomplishments of his teammates. If he keeps up this level of maturity in the game, you’re looking at the next captain of the New York Yankees.

I think Derek Jeter at some point might have whispered into Judge’s ears, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Has anyone checked to see if there’s a red cape sticking out from underneath his jersey yet?

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