Aaron Judge says Anthony Rizzo sent photos of their dogs to convince him to stay with the Yankees
Aaron Judge reveals Anthony Rizzo sent him photos of their ‘best friend’ dogs, Penny and Kevin, and ‘called and texted him EVERY DAY’ to convince the AL MVP to stay with the Yankees
Yankees captain Aaron Judge revealed that teammate and friend Anthony Rizzo and their dogs played a huge role in his decision to stay in the Bronx.
Judge penned an eye-watering $360million deal through to the 2031 season with the Yankees last month after a historic season with the Bronx Bombers.
However, the slugger almost didn’t return to the Big Apple as he was the most in-demand free agent during this offseason with the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres in pursuit after he broke the AL record for home runs with 62 last season.
Aaron Judge (L) revealed that Anthony Rizzo (R) ‘worked hard’ to get him back to the Yankees
Despite the attempts of the Giants and the Padres to lure him to the west coast, Judge finally recommitted to the Yankees, earning the mantle of the 16th captain of New York.
Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Judge revealed a a major factor in his return to the Bronx was Rizzo’s relentless persuasion with the first baseman even resorting to emotional blackmail.
‘He played a big part, big part he was a free agent too,’ Judge said. ‘He opted out, but he got his contract out of the way. And he said, “Now we got to get you locked in.”
‘He was calling me every day. He was sending me texts every day. He was working hard.’
The six-foot-seven slugger appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday
Judge revealed that his dog, Penny, is best friend with Rizzo’s, Kevin, and that his teammate would constantly send photos of the two pets together, pulling of the six-foot-seven sluggers heartstrings.
‘He went for my heart. My little Penny and his dog, Kevin, are the best of friends. This is what I had to deal with,’ Judge said referring to a photo of the two canines together. ‘Every day, I was getting photos like this.’
While Yankees fans were on tenterhooks until Judge finally slipped back into pinstripes, the record-breaker himself found the free agent process enjoyable.
‘It was a fun process you know, every athlete wants to get to that position where they can choose, where they get to play and it just so happened I got drafted by the best team on the planet,’ Judge said.
Judge revealed that his dog, Penny (right), is best friend with Rizzo’s, Kevin (left)
‘I met a lot of great teams, a lot of great people along the way. But after every meeting, you know, I’d sit down with my wife, and we kind of look at each other and be like, “We’re Yankees.”‘
Judge was recently serenaded by fans at a Drake concert on Sunday night after being spotted watching the show from a VIP box.
He attended the concert with wife Samantha and was soon picked out by fans in the crowd.
The New York Yankees captain was serenaded by fans at a Drake concert on Sunday
As chants of ‘let’s go Yankees’ then broke out, the superstar slugger couldn’t contain a huge smile while tapping his chest in appreciation.
He could also be seen laughing with Samantha while looking a little embarrassed at the support coming his way.
After his record-breaking season, which saw him break Roger Maris’ AL record for home runs, the four-time All-Star earned the title of the Yankees captain – the first since Derek Jeter in 2014.
At his official unveiling after signing his new mega-money deal, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner announced the six-foot-seven slugger would be the new leader of the franchise.
The AL MVP was named as the 16th captain of the New York Yankees after a historic season
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