62 by Bryan Hoch: A Review
by Tim Kabel
October 14, 2023
Authors who write books about actual events, whether they be historical, political, or sports related, walk a fine line, especially if it is a recent event. The author has to make the content of his or her book fresh and interesting. After all, if the book is about something that happened within a year, most people remember the majority of the details, and may not be interested in reading a book about something so fresh in their minds. I would imagine that writing such a book is much more difficult than most people believe.
Therefore, what Bryan Hoch has accomplished in writing 62, Aaron Judge, The New York Yankees, and the Pursuit of Greatness, is especially noteworthy. Mr. Hoch has taken Aaron Judge's quest to hit 62 home runs in 2022, which is ingrained in the minds of all sports fans, particularly those who follow the Yankees, and made it compelling reading.
Mr. Hoch crafts his book beautifully, providing background, substance, and layers of depth to the narrative. He writes about Aaron Judge beginning as a child and thoroughly details his development up to his 2022 season and beyond. It is a fully detailed portrait of Aaron Judge as a baseball player and as a man.
Mr. Hoch weaves back stories, anecdotes, and interviews throughout the tapestry of his book. It is thorough and well-rounded. He includes statements, quotes, and observations from coaches, teammates and others. He creates a very rich and substantive work, which flows very well, gently pulling the reader along, particularly when it details the chase for 62 home runs in 2022.
Each and every home run is chronicled and put in context for the reader. It is not simply a list of home runs. There is tremendous detail regarding each home run, including the pitcher, the inning, and other statistical information including how many stadiums each of the 62 would have been a home run.
Just about everyone who will read this book was very aware of the incidents surrounding Judge's efforts in 2022. We all knew about his contract status, the tremendous start that the team had to the season. and even the involvement of the family of Roger Maris. Mr. Hoch brings all of this to life for us again. The way he presents it is extremely interesting and provides details many of us did not know previously. There is a tremendous amount of inside information and research attached to this book.
Of note, there is one mistake in the book. Mr. Hoch writes about the Derek Jeter Day ceremony to commemorate his admission into the Hall of Fame. Mr. Hoch reports the event as occurring on September 8th, 2022, prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins. He even provides details of the game against the Twins. However, the ceremony actually occurred on September 9th, prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, That was the game in which Aaron Hicks misplayed two consecutive fly balls and was subsequently benched. However, this factual error does not detract from the overall book in any way. It simply bears reporting.
62 by Bryan Hoch is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Many of us were not around for Roger Maris's pursuit of Babe Ruth in 1961.However, Mr. Hoch brings us there in addition to chronicling Aaron Judge's quest for 62 home runs. The way that Mr. Hoch escorts us through the entire 2022 season is remarkable and very enjoyable.