If beating the record for the most home runs in a single American League season doesn’t make you a contender for The Root 100 list, it’s hard to guess what else would. Thirty-year-old Aaron Judge ended his historic 2022 season with sixty-two home runs, the most of any single season of American League baseball. And for his efforts, Judge was awarded the league's Most Valuable Player award. Judge is the first Yankees outfielder to win the MVP since Mickey Mantle won it in 1962. But of course, Judge is no stranger to this kind of recognition: In his early career, Judge also picked up some impressive accolades, foreshadowing the greatness to come. In 2017, Judge was unanimously voted the Rookie of the Year. That same year, he also finished second in voting for the Most Valuable Player award. Despite this year's record-breaking season, and receiving one of the highest honors in baseball, we’re sure there are plenty of new heights for this star athlete to reach and, as always, The Root will be watching.