NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 25: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees hits a two-run home run in front of Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals during the third inning at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Over the course of baseball history, the New York Yankees have always had a player or two that best embodies the era. From Babe Ruth to Reggie Jackson to Derek Jeter, there is one player that stands out above all others when you look through the storied history of the Bronx Bombers. And after quite an impressive rookie season, it appears Aaron Judge is well on his way to being the next face of the Yankees for years to come.

Judge hit a MLB record 52 home runs in his rookie season in pinstripes, earning him a Silver Slugger Award and a trip to the All-Star Game along the way, where he also took the Home Run Derby crown for good measure. Later tonight, he will add the American League Rookie of the Year award to his mantle, which is already in need of an upgrade with the kind of awards expected to follow moving forward.

After a wildly successful rookie season with the Yankees, Judge is already starting to see his popularity soar, and it’s about to hit an all new level in 2018 with his latest endorsement deals in place.

Last week, it was announced that Judge will appear as the cover athlete for “MLB The Show 18,” next year’s edition in the popular baseball video game franchise from Sony. He joins the ranks of Ken Griffey Jr., Yasiel Puig, Andrew McCutcheon, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Howard, and David Ortiz, among others. Judge will be the first player in the history of the video game franchise to appear on the cover immediately following his rookie season, once again making some history.

The offseason buzz continued on Monday with news from Darren Rovell of ESPN saying Judge has signed on with Pepsi. According to Rovell, Judge will be a national spokesperson for Pepsi on a multiyear deal, although the terms of the contract were not reported. Regardless, it’s not like Pepsi is not going to go all out in putting Judge in commercials and advertisements and more. When you have a star of the Yankees under contract, you exploit the heck out of that at every opportunity you can.

Not too many people expect Judge to regress much in his second season, although it is always a bit of a mild concern even for a rookie coming off the kind of season Judge just had. And that can be a slight risk for companies going all out in lining up a young player to such endorsement deals. But when a star rises like this, you almost have to act fast if you want to get that player under contract because if you wait too long, you could miss out on that opportunity. For Judge, the endorsements could bring more pressure on him in his second season, but he also seems like he might be level-headed enough to not let that get to him too much. And if that’s the case, then he will enjoy a lasting relationship with Pepsi.

No word on whether or not Coca-Cola has countered this by signing the Houston Astros pitching staff, but we’ll wait for possible confirmation.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.