The honorable New York Yankees right fielder, Aaron Judge, has finally met someone his height after standing next to Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz. The moment was captured in a now-viral picture taken during Wednesday night's game against the Pirates.
Cruz, a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic, and Judge, this season's leading home run hitter, are both 6-foot-7. Pirates manager Derek Shelton said he was shocked to see both players standing at eye level.
"It's interesting," Shelton said. "They were standing out there ... and, usually, when you stand next to Oneil, everybody looks small. Judge doesn't look small next to Oneil. You don't see that very often. So, it's definitely an anomaly."
Aaron Judge with O'Neil Cruz...yes Cruz is blocking out Judge pic.twitter.com/vY0OfwDXnl— David Hague (@DHPhoto11) July 7, 2022
That same phenomenon goes for Judge, who towers over almost every player. In his many matchups against the Houston Astros, images of Judge standing beside Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who is 5-6, have garnered attention.
After the Yankees beat the Pirates 16-0 behind Judge's eighth-inning grand slam, it was nothing but respect between the two phenoms.
"I'm pretty impressed [with Cruz]," Judge said. "He's going to have a bright future in this game. He has all the tools, all the intangibles. I'm looking forward to seeing him develop at the major league level."
As for Cruz, his priority is getting better. After multiple stops in the minor league and making his MLB debut last fall, his height is the last thing on his mind.
"Even when I play, I understand I am a tall individual, but I never put too much thought into it. I always grew up playing hard and playing with a winning mindset," Cruz said. "I'm pretty sure he grew up just playing ball hard and not really focusing on his height, but focused on being a winner and being a competitor."