The Loop

Aaron Judge promises fan he'll hit home run, obviously hits home run

August 26, 2019
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Dodgers

Jayne Kamin-Oncea

We don't know when the Yankees became the good guys or how they traded in the Death Star for a rebel fighter with no one really noticing, but there's no doubt about it: These bizarro pinstripes are tough to hate. They've built the team from the inside out. They have more horsepower than a Fast and the Furious movie. They greet elderly fans during BP and are polite and gracious and promise absurd things like "I'll get one for you tonight" and then preposterously deliver. And if you're still skeptical, that's not some sort of hypothetical scenario designed to illustrate the point—it actually happened.

That's Aaron Judge on Sunday Night Baseball putting on his best gubernatorial campaign act (firm handshake, slightly deeper voice than normal, empty promises) before taking Clayton Kershaw deep to center in the top of the third inning of the Yankees' 5-1 defeat of the Dodgers on Sunday night. What a guy. The heartwarming homer also helped propel the Yanks to a series victory against the NL's best in a possible World Series preview, Astros not withstanding.

Most importantly, however, the interaction evoked yet another Seinfeld-in-real life parallel, harkening back to season seven, episode four, when Kramer, in an effort to reacquire a birthday card for George Steinbrenner signed by the Yankees that he accidentally sold to a sports memorabilia store after misinterpreting George having grapefruit juice in his eye as a knowing wink, visits the buyer of said card, a young boy named Bobby, in his hospital bed. Bobby agrees to return the card if Paul O'Neill hits two home runs in his next game. O'Neill, like Judge, makes good on the promise, albeit via an inside-the-park homer, prompting Bobby to object on technicality. Kramer eventually wrestles the card away from the bed-ridden child by promising that Paul O'Neill will catch a fly-ball in his hat the following day, so essentially what we're saying is keep on eye on Judge in the outfield this week. Who knows what might happen.