“Realize wherever you are, God has put you there. God has a purpose in you being there. Learn to bloom where you are planted.”                  Richard Halverson

 September 20, 2022 – Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada: An emotional Patty Judge was on her feet, clapping and crying as Aaron, her baby boy, rounded third base. After an 8-3 New York Yankee win over the Toronto Blue Jays, 30-year-old Aaron presented his mother with his homerun ball – number 60, tying legendary Yankee slugger Babe Ruth’s record for most home runs in a season. The mother-son duo shared the sweet moment, hugging and posing for pictures, with Patty wearing an Aaron Judge No. 99 jersey.

Flash back two decades earlier when 10-year-old Aaron asked the question that Wayne and Patty Judge had long expected. Aaron had noticed for a year that he did not resemble his white parents, and he finally got around to popping the question. “Uh, Mom, I don’t look like you. And I don’t look like you, dad. Like, uh, what is going on here?” Patty was brief and to the point, “Aaron, we adopted you when you were two days old.”

Aaron was matter of fact, “OK, that’s fine with me.” He hugged his mother. “You’re still my mom, the only mom that I know.” And then he hugged his dad. “And you’re still my dad, the only dad I know. Can I go outside and play now?” Being adopted was not a big deal to Aaron. He was busy excelling at sports.

Aaron Judge grew up in Linden, California, a small agricultural town two hours from San Francisco. He was a three-sport star at Linden High School, where both parents were physical education teachers. To play baseball, he turned down numerous college football scholarship offers, including Notre Dame.

In 2010 the Oakland Athletics drafted Judge right out of Linden High School, but his mother influenced him to play baseball at Fresno State University and get a college degree instead. Three years later, Judge was selected by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 2013 draft. He made his big-league debut with the Yankees in August 2016, hitting a home run in his first game.

The following season, Judge caught the attention of the baseball world when he hit 52 home runs and earned Rookie of the Year in the American League. The behemoth, 6-foot-7, 280-pound right fielder and lead-off hitter for the Yankees quickly became a fan favorite around the league and a nemesis for opposing pitchers. His monster home runs have become legendary. He has hit the longest home run in Yankee Stadium history.

On October 4, 2022, two weeks after presenting his mother with his 60th home run ball, Aaron Judge once again made history. He hit his 62nd home run breaking the American League all-time home run record of 61, which had been held by Yankee outfielder Roger Maris for 61 years.

Judge’s teammates exploded onto the field as the record-breaking home run landed in the left-field seats. They celebrated him as he rounded the bases. Judge’s thoughts were of his parents and his wife Samantha, who had followed him every game for two weeks as he chased homer history. He also thought of the fans and teammates who had willed him to the record.

“I would not be a New York Yankee if it wasn’t for my mom,” Judge says. “The guidance she gave me as a kid, knowing the difference between right and wrong, how to treat people, how to go the extra mile and put in extra work. She molded me into the person that I am today.”

Aaron Judge has never met his biological parents. He has never had the desire to track them down. “Most children develop in their mother’s womb,” Aaron says. “I developed in my mother’s heart. God was the one who matched me with my parents. They picked me for a reason.” Patty says, “On April 26, 1992, Aaron entered the world. It was a miracle day for Wayne and me. After adopting another son, John, a year earlier, Aaron completed our family. It was supposed to happen that way.”