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Aaron Judge Continues To Be A Breath Of Fresh Air

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

ESPNNew York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge is 6-foot-7, 282 pounds and possibly the most fascinating player in baseball. But if you don’t watch him closely enough, there are things about the massive rookie you might miss.

It begins just moments before first pitch — with a superstition. Judge pops two pieces of Dubble Bubble sugar-free bubblegum in his mouth. Until he makes an out, he’ll continue to chew it. If he picks up a hit in his first at-bat, it stays in. Another hit, and he keeps chewing. Another …

“Hopefully, by the end of the night, I have a nasty, old, unflavored piece of gum in my mouth,” Judge says.

Judge started the tasteless tradition in college and he doesn’t plan on changing it. His outs do have a sweet ending, because if he makes one, he throws away the old gum and takes two fresh pieces.

If you told me that we could have a 6’7″ 282lbs. beast in right field that mashes home runs I would have taken that in a second. I wouldn’t even care if he had the range of Carlos Beltran and the arm of Bernie Williams. It turns out that instead of just being a threat at the plate, judge is also a great fielder thats not afraid to get his uniform dirty to save some runs.

But now you start to hear more about who he is as a person and it’s amazing. Raised by adopted parents (that kinda hit the jackpot), Judge is a humble and hardworking kid. His success so far this year would be an issue on a lot of teams because all those home runs could go to his head. But not with Judge. He’s respected by everyone on the team and has taken a leadership role on the team as a rookie. Not just by playing well, but by doing the little things that Derek Jeter did.

Judge is at the top of the stairs at the end of every inning before most of his teammates to give them words of encouragement and pops every time someone else does something great. If he hit 2 home runs in a game, his postgame interview is about his teammates and how well they played. It’s everything you want in a baseball player, including superstitions.

Superstitions in baseball are so vital. Any baseball guy will tell you that. Whether it’s not stepping on the line when taking the field, or wearing a gold thong, having superstitions in baseball is as much a part of the game as hot dogs and beer. Hearing that Judge has a superstition that he follows is great because not only does he not take himself too seriously, he always thinks he’s a fresh piece of gum from ending a slump. That’s the kind of guy you can win with.

PS: Turk Wendell was a fucking nut job. He just went too far and thats why he stunk.