Come on, veteran Yankee fans, when Aaron Judge smashed that 496-foot homer on Sunday, weren't you having flashbacks to Mickey Mantle?
It's early, but the parallels to the Mick are hard to miss. Not just the titanic shots. Judge's rookie numbers are reminiscent of Mantle's in his historic season of 1961.
Judge is hitting .344 with 21 homers, a .450 on-base and .718 slugging average (1.168 OPS). In '61, when Mantle hit 54 homers, he had a .448 on-base and slugged .687. That's the last time a Yankee slugged .650 or had an OPS over 1.110 for a full year.
Speaking of '61, Judge is the first Yankee to hit 20 homers before the All-Star break at age 25 or younger since Roger Maris that season. It's the year Maris hit 61 homers to break Babe Ruth's record after a celebrated dual pursuit with Mantle.
Judge is making it easy to forget Gary Sanchez, who is slugging over .800 in June. Last year, Sanchez tied a record by hitting 20 homers in his first 51 MLB games. Over two seasons, he has 30 homers in 88 games.
Could this be a modern-day version of the M&M Boys, sluggers who could one day become the second teammates ever to hit 50 homers in the same season?