NEW YORK (AP) Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge sat side by side on the dais, together in public for the first time as Yankees teammates.
Truly a big night in New York baseball.
The towering duo joined several of the game’s top stars in attendance Sunday night as the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America held its 95th annual dinner.
Acquired by the Yankees in a December trade with Miami, the 6-foot-6 Stanton was on hand to collect the National League Most Valuable Player award after leading the majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs last season.
”This has been an amazing ride and I’m excited to be here in New York and experience the big city, bright lights, and this is going to be a lot of fun for me,” said the eight-year veteran, drawing loud applause.
Standing a smidge taller at 6-foot-7, Judge took home his own share of hardware. The 25-year-old outfielder was selected New York player of the year and also received the Joe DiMaggio Toast of the Town award.
Stanton and Judge are expected to form a powerful 1-2 punch in the Bronx for years, drawing comparisons to Mantle and Maris or Gehrig and Ruth.
”Not only is this going to be great for the Yankees and Yankee fans, it’s going to be tremendous for baseball,” said broadcaster Bob Costas, the Ford C. Frick Award winner who presented Judge with a trifecta of honors. ”It’s one thing to be effective and to be excellent and it’s another thing to have a quality of myth and legend about you. Giancarlo already does and Aaron, in short order, already does.”
Judge also picked up his AL Rookie of the Year award, won unanimously by garnering all 30 first-place votes. Second in the majors behind only Stanton with a rookie-record 52 homers, the hulking slugger finished with 114 RBIs while leading the AL in runs (128) and walks (127).
”An award like this is never an individual award. It’s always a group effort from the people that support us day in and day out,” Judge said, acknowledging his parents in the crowd. ”I could never repay you guys for all the baseball tournaments you’ve driven to, the times I forgot my cleats at home and (you) had to go back and get them, so thank you.”