Hitting home runs is not new to Aaron Judge. Entering Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, he had 167 in his career. But No. 168 was the first of its kind for the New York Yankees slugger.

Judge came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning with two runners on and his Yankees trailing 5-3. Toronto closer Jordan Romano got ahead 1-2 on Judge but then made a bad mistake over the plate. Judge made him pay, launching a ball into the left field bleachers for the first walk-off home run of his career.

The home run drew two different kind of reactions. One was from people who were caught up in the emotion of the game. Naturally, those cheering for the Yankees were happy. Fans pulling for the Blue Jays, however, were not.

It was indeed a wild, memorable game. New York’s offense consisted of two three-run home runs. Prior to Judge’s walk-off blast, Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run home run with his team trailing 3-0. Following that, Toronto pitcher Yimi Garcia hit Josh Donaldson and was controversially ejected.

But not all of the chatter was about the moment, or even the game.

Judge is also a free agent. While he had hoped to get a deal signed before the season started, that did not happen. He rejected a substantial offer from the Yankees, opting to bet on himself. While it’s early, that is looking like a good bet. Tuesday’s walk-off blast was his 10th home run of the season, which leads all of MLB.

Several fans felt that this game-winning home run will only make Judge’s value increase even more.

Obviously, the value of Judge’s next deal will depend a lot on what happens for the rest of the season. But winning a game against a division rival and fellow contender isn’t going to hurt matters for Judge.

[New York Yankees]

About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.