Aaron Judge enjoyed a tremendous season in which his popularity has skyrocketed. As proof, the New York Yankees right fielder had MLB’s most popular jersey in 2017.
— MLB (@MLB) October 3, 2017
Judge is really the perfect storm here.
First of all, as a rookie, essentially nobody had his jersey before the 2017 season started. While that obviously didn’t keep some more established veterans for checking in high on the list, it’s certainly a notch in his favor.
Second, he plays for MLB’s most popular team. Certainly, any player who does big things for the Yankees is going to get more recognition than he would if he played anywhere else.
Third, he hits the home run ball. Even in a year which saw a record number of home runs, Judge’s power numbers compare favorably to nearly everyone else. He hit 52 in his rookie season, trailing only Giancarlo Stanton for the league lead. That’s something that the fans gravitate towards more than anything else.
Lastly, Judge is just a nice guy. There’s nothing really controversial about him. He’s the exact kind of person whose jersey parents would buy for their kids, or even themselves.
Judge’s tremendous season will certainly conclude with him as 2017’s American League Rookie of the Year. But his jersey sales indicate that Judge has also been baseball’s most popular player in 2017.