Aaron Judge’s effortless relationship with the fans is why he’s the perfect face of the New York Yankees.
It’s impossible to dislike Aaron Judge at this point and anyone who does clearly isn’t paying complete attention.
He launches home runs to infinity and beyond. His right field defense borders on elite. As a leader and teammate, his value is such that a lengthy contract extension was discussed with near-urgency before the MLB lockout.
The man embodies the New York Yankees to a tee.
The evidence of this continued to pile up when, in response to a query on Twitter, one of the Yankees’ millions of fans posted a video. In it, he and his family are watching the Bronx Bombers warm up on the field in Toronto ahead of facing the Blue Jays.
The Aaron Judge we all know and love then makes an appearance in the most Aaron Judge way. He quietly walks to the barrier, offers the fan’s young daughter the ball in his glove, and then jogs off to continue his game prep.
Awesome moment when we took a trip to Toronto and Aaron Judge gave my daughter her first baseball!! ⚾️😁❤️ pic.twitter.com/2VIMExL4qs
— Ron Ferrante (@RonFerrante) February 7, 2022
No eye contact, no fist-bump, no nothing. Just Aaron Judge taking literal seconds to give a young fan a memory she’ll cherish for a lifetime.
This is exactly why, though they’re two completely different types of players, Judge is often lumped in with Derek Jeter. Like the former Yankee captain, Judge is a leader who doesn’t rely on words. He leads by example and lets his actions on the field speak for him.
And as of now, the 30-year-old Aaron Judge is set to enter his contract year whenever MLB and the players union agree to end the lockout. To not give him a long-term contract ahead of free agency would be a grave mistake by general manager Brian Cashman.
More importantly, it would cheat future young Yankees fans out of memories like the one above.