October 15, 2022

Subject: The Untold Story of Aaron Judge – How We Missed the Opportunity to Celebrate America

Psalm 27:10 “When my mother and father forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”

Ed Croteau

Ted Williams, the only major league baseball player to ever hit over .400 in a season (he hit .406 in 1941), famously said “The hardest thing to do in all of sports, without question, is to hit a baseball.” Williams is sixth on the all-time average list with an average of .344. That means he failed 65.6% of the time.

When a player consistently hits a baseball 30% of the time over the course of his career, which means he fails to hit the baseball 70% of the time, he is a candidate for the Hall of Fame. Today’s pitchers throw over 100 mph, giving the batter only 1/4 of a second to swing a 3–4-inch bat before it has gone by him.

Out of roughly 19,500 players who have played Major League Baseball, less than 185 have achieved a lifetime batting average of over .300. That is less than 1%! Only 37 batted over .325. Only 24 hit .333 lifetime average. Only 14 are over .340. Only THREE (Ty Cobb, Roger Hornsby, “shoeless” Joe Jackson) hit over .350. America, baseball’s birthplace, should celebrate when we witness such athletic greatness.

Since 1961, when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record by hitting 61 home runs, baseball purists have attested that this accomplishment would most likely never be matched. Then, on Tuesday night October 4, Aaron Judge hit home run #62.

Roger Maris Jr., son of Roger Maris, called Judge the “new CLEAN HOME RUN KING!” That is because all three of the previous major league hitters who surpassed Maris (Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, and Sammy Sosa) all were caught using steroids. All three of these players have been denied election into the Baseball Hall of Fame. America agrees with Maris’ assessment – cheating is not honorable in baseball.

Aaron Judge is doing much more in 2022 than hitting home runs. He is competing for the coveted single season “triple crown” of baseball: home runs, batting average and runs batted in. He is batting .311, has hit 62 home runs, and has 131 runs batted in. He is having arguably the greatest single season in baseball history. So, why isn’t the Aaron Judge story dominating our sports, and American culture, headlines?

Jason Whitlock, host of “Fearless,” explained in his podcast ‘How MLB & the Woke Mob Ruined Aaron Judge’s Historic Season’: “Aaron Judge, and what he accomplished, should be the biggest story in sports and a shining example of America’s grace, mercy, and love for each other. But it is not. Instead, it is an indication of how much we have destroyed American culture. We have ruined the Aaron Judge story.”

Aaron is a professing Christian, biracial, and adopted by two white parents. This should be an amazing feel-good story about second chances in America and about how people regardless of race rally around each other. This family, the Judge family, took Aaron into their home at birth and raised one of the greatest baseball players of all time. We should be celebrating this story, celebrating America, and celebrating people like the Judges who raise adopted children as if they are their own biological children.”

Aaron describes his relationship with his parents: “I’m a momma’s boy. I know I wouldn’t be a New York Yankee if it wasn’t for my mom. The guidance she gave me as a kid growing up, knowing the difference from right and wrong, how to treat people and how to go the extra mile and put in extra work. She’s molded me into the person that I am today.” As for his dad: “Growing up, I could tell he was tired. He’d had a long day of work. He never complained, nothing. For me, that’s why he’s still the hero in my eyes.”

Aaron recalls when as a boy he asked his parents why he looked so different than them: “I don’t look like you, Mom. I don’t look like you, Dad. What’s going on here? They told me I was adopted. I was like, ‘OK, that’s fine with me.’ You’re still my mom, the only mom I know. You’re still my dad, the only dad I know.”

In an interview with the New York Post, Judge said “My parents are amazing, they’ve taught me so many lessons. I honestly can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me. I’m blessed.”

In a culture pushing to characterize America as an evil, racist nation, Aaron’s story celebrates the Christian heritage of America. As Whitlock also said, “Aaron Judge is an underdog story of the ages that should be at the top of our conversation, but we can’t even feel good about things we should feel awesome about.”

As our verse this week tells us, our God tells us it is He who cares for the orphan and the homeless. Aaron Judge and his family are a testament to that truth. Aaron knows it is God who is glorified in his family.

Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website www.fse.life.