Spring 2021 Magazine

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge lets Bible verse guide his life

Aaron Judge took Major League Baseball by storm when he first appeared on the scene as a dynamic young outfielder for the New York Yankees. At 6-foot-7 and 282 pounds, he seemed larger than life to many Yankees fans as he belted pitch after pitch beyond the outfield wall.

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He’s appeared in 396 major-league games with the Yankees across four seasons, and he’s already accumulated 110 home runs and 246 RBIs. In 2017, he was the American League Rookie of the Year and home run leader with 52. His famous No. 99 jersey has now been the top-selling MLB jersey for three consecutive seasons.

Yet even as Judge, 27, has become a household name and one of the best hitters in baseball since the Yankees drafted him in the first round in 2013, he hasn’t forgotten his West Coast roots.

On a recent visit to Fresno, Calif., where he attended Fresno State University and near where he grew up in Linden, Calif., Judge dropped by the announcer’s booth during a Fresno State football game to discuss his career and his formative years. He was three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball as a high schooler in Linden, and even received some Division I football offers before ultimately choosing to play baseball at Fresno State.

“I learned a lot of life lessons here in Fresno,” Judge said about his three years at the school.

Soon, the conversation shifted to Judge’s work with the All Rise Foundation, a nonprofit Judge launched which aims to inspire youth to become responsible citizens in their communities.

At one of the organization’s events in Fresno earlier in the week, Judge created a painting which depicted some of the important stops in his life and career, including logos for the Yankees, the Fresno State Bulldogs and his high school, the Linden Lions. The painting also incorporated Judge’s favorite Bible verse: 2 Corinthians 5:7 — “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

“It’s one of my favorite Bible verses,” Judge said on the radio broadcast. “I try to live my life by it, and always trust the Man Above and what He’s got in store for us. We never know what’s around the corner, but if we have faith in Him, He will lead us in the right direction.”

Judge has been known to discuss his faith before. On the second day of his life, Judge and his older brother, John, were adopted by Patty and Wayne Judge.

“I feel they kind of picked me,” Aaron Judge told The New York Post in 2015. “I feel that God was the one that matched us together.”

Judge’s faith is also evident on his Twitter page. His banner photo is a caption of 2 Corinthians 5:7 and his bio states “Christian. Faith, Family, then Baseball. If what you did yesterday still seems big today, then you haven’t done anything today!”

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