Aaron Judge is not only setting a number of records during his rookie season, he is marching up the charts as baseball's favorite player, according to the ESPN Sports Poll.
The New York Yankees slugger was ranked in the poll of MLB fans as their favorite MLB player in August, becoming the first rookie to ever be selected as a favorite player in either the NFL, NBA or MLB since the poll began tracking in 1994.
"It's special," Judge said. "They are the ones watching the games, watching you do your thing, so that is pretty cool."
"I think it is an unbelievable accomplishment," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't think you have that fanfare unless you put up big, big numbers. He did it in a big market, No. 1, but he did it in a way people appreciate -- your humility, the grace that you do it with, the way you play the game, how hard you play the game.
"There is no arrogance to Aaron Judge. I think that's why people probably rallied around him."
Prior to Judge, LeBron James, Ben Roethlisberger and Dak Prescott each only reached No. 3 in their respective sports during their rookie seasons. It took four years before James was selected the NBA's most popular player.
By the end of August, a month after he won the home run derby, Judge was resonating with fans. His ascent isn't a surprise considering his record-breaking season for the Yankees.
His stellar campaign has helped the Yankees earn a playoff berth for the first time since 2015. He owns the rookie record for home runs at 50 and walks with 122. He also ended up striking out in 37 consecutive games, setting another MLB record.