As I walked in the newsroom Tuesday morning, News Editor George Prentice asked, "Do you know who Aaron Judge is?" This is a fairly common occurrence: I walk in the newsroom, George asks if I've heard of something/someone and he either gives me a short tutorial if I haven't or we chat about it if I have. I hadn't heard of Aaron Judge, so George told me about the 6-foot 7-inch, 282-pound outfielder for the New York Yankees, and the rookie's outstanding performance—and win—at the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Home Run Derby on June 10. Intrigued, I looked Judge up.
Thanks to Baltimore Sun sports writer Peter Schmuck, I learned Judge made "a 513-foot homer that hit just below the roof in left-center field and also hit a 507-foot shot and a 513-foot homer during the All-Star Game" and landed "a Yankees record of 30 homers in the first half of the regular [baseball] season" (he finished with 47). From ESPN Senior Writer Jerry Crasnick, I found out "a baseball card signed by Judge just sold on eBay for more than $14,000." I discovered from New York Post sports writer Joel Sherman, how proud Judge's parents Patty and Wayne are of, as Judge's father calls it, their son's "magical ride." I did and will continue to read about the 25-year-old sports phenom, whose talent, skill and humility are mentioned nearly as often as the uncommonness of a baseball player of Judge's height and weight—and I'll do so as way to add a sense of equilibrium to news of the detrimental Senate healthcare bill, to counteract the inanity of Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter feed and to neutralize the rhetoric of Sebastian Gorka and Kellyanne Conway being interviewed by CNN co-anchor Alisyn Camerota.
This is not about trying to find a silver lining. I am realistic. I know the world can be a raging suckfest at times, but I also know nature abhors a vacuum and will insist on some kind of balance. I will keep reading about how Russia may have interfered with U.S. elections, Kim Jong Un is testing missiles and a group of pilgrims were murdered in Kashmir—but I will also look for stories and updates on the young Yankee who made me smile.