Two old men had been best friends for years, and they both lived into their early 90’s, when one of them suddenly fell deathly ill. His friend came to visit him on his deathbed and they reminisced about their long friendship. The friend said, “Listen, when you die, do me a favour. I want to know if there’s baseball up in heaven.”  The dying man responded, “Since we’ve been friends for a lifetime, yes, I’ll do that for you.”  Then he died..  A few days later, the surviving friend is sleeping, when he hears his friend’s voice.  “I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.. “The good news is: there’s baseball in heaven.”  “What’s the bad news?” “You’re pitching on Wednesday!”

His name is Aaron Judge.  At 6 feet-7 inches and 280 pounds, he is the largest man to ever play in major league baseball and is currently the biggest superstar in the game.  The day he was born he was put up for adoption and the next day was taken home by Wayne and Patty Judge, both physical education school teachers, where he grew up in the little farming community of Linden, California (one stop sign and no stop lights).  When asked how large Aaron was as a baby, his parents said, “We kind of joke that as a newborn he looked like a Michelin Tire baby.  It wasn’t long before the four ounces of formula became just the appetizer and it had to be formula plus oatmeal to pacify him.”  At the age of ten, Judge began to notice that he did not look at all like his parents  in either facial appearance or body size.  Aaron explains, “So I started asking them and they sat me down and told me I was adopted and answered all of my questions and that was that.  I was fine with it.  And it really didn’t matter because these were the only parents I had ever known.  (Aaron does not know who his biological parents are and so has never had any contact with them, but would not be surprised to hear from them with his rise in both fame and income.)  He continues, “My mother and father are just amazing, they’ve taught me so many lessons.  I honestly can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me.  I really believe that God matched us together when they picked me as a two-day-old baby.”

Judge became a three-star athlete in both high school and college (leading scorer on the basketball team, wide receiver touchdown machine on the football team and power-hitting/ace pitcher on the baseball team).  But his first love was always baseball and it was the New York Yankees who made him their number one pick in the baseball draft and as they say, the rest is history.  This year he broke three rookie records: most home runs by a rookie (52), most walks by a rookie (127) and most runs scored by a rookie (128).

But most important of all, Aaron Judge is a true born-again believer.  Wayne and Patty Judge are godly Christians who taught their son how to be saved as soon as he was old enough to understand.  And on Judge’s twitter account you read in his biog: “Christian faith, family, then baseball and in that order.” As well,  the large letters at the top of the twitter page say, II Corinthians 5:7, For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Well, if that old-timer is pitching on Wednesday, he can be thankful Judge is down here and not up there!