Aaron Judge named AP’s top male athlete

After hitting 62 home runs to break an American League record that lasted 61 years, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge has been voted The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year by a panel of 40 sports writers and editors from news outlets across the country.

The outfielder edged Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani, last year’s winner. Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors finished third.

Judge hit 16 more homers than any other big league player, the largest gap since Jimmie Foxx hit 58 for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1932 and Babe Ruth had 41 for the Yankees, nearly winning the AL triple crown. Judge finished second with a .311 batting average, and his 131 RBI’s were tied for the most in baseball.

Just before Opening Day, Judge declined New York’s offer of $213.5 million over seven years and bet on himself. That bet paid off, with Judge getting a $360 million, nine-year contract to re-sign with the Yankees