There were familiar chants of “M-V-P!” as Aaron Judge strode toward home plate in the first inning on Opening Day, digging his right cleat across the dirt of the batter’s box as he prepared for his first official at-bat since being named the 16th captain in Yankees franchise history.
It took all of two pitches for Judge to pick up where he left off. Having eclipsed Roger Maris’ single-season American League record with 62 home runs last year, Judge belted the Majors’ first of 2023, powering a Logan Webb sinker over the center-field wall at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees cruised to a 5-0 win over the Giants.
“You really don’t hear much when you hit it and you’re running the bases,” Judge said. “But once I hit home and saw my family there, the roar of the crowd, my teammates — that’s when you soak it in a little bit.”
Judge’s drive came off the bat at an exit velocity of 109.3 mph and traveled a Statcast-projected 422 feet. It also came against the Giants, one of the clubs that attempted to sign Judge this past offseason.