New York Yankees star Aaron Judge took little time to show why he was one of the most coveted free agents in Major League history, homering off San Francisco Giants hurler Logan Webb in his first at-bat of the 2023 season.
After receiving a standing ovation and MVP chants, Judge watched home plate umpire Laz Diaz call an outside sinker for a strike before swinging at Webb's 0-1 offering, drilling it to center field for a 422-foot solo shot to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. His first home run of the season was also the first in the entire league.
Judge was linked to the Giants during the offseason before choosing to remain in New York, signing a nine-year, $360 million deal. He grew up as a Giants fan in Linden, a small San Joaquin County community of less than 2,000 located 15 miles east of Stockton and just under 100 miles east of San Francisco.
Judge had never faced the Giants before in his career. The Yankees visited Oracle Park for a three-game series in 2019, when he was sidelined with a broken bone in his wrist.
Thursday also marked Judge's first game as the captain of the Yankees. He's the 16th captain in franchise history; the position had been vacant since Derek Jeter's retirement at the end of the 2014 season.