Aaron Judge had some explaining to do when he showed up at Yankee Stadium Monday before Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Red Sox.
The Yankees — and apparently Judge in particular — are fixated with Frank Sinatra's rendition of “New York, New York’’ but Judge may have crossed the line by playing it on his boombox as he strolled past the Red Sox clubhouse after Saturday night’s victory in Game 2. Judge hit a towering home run in that game, so maybe it could be construed as piling on by blasting the team’s theme song.
Judge took batting practice but did not stop to speak with reporters.
On Sunday, the Red Sox said they were unaware of Judge’s musical serenade, but it’s wait and see if he gets a little chin music when he steps into the batter’s box. Judge has not commented on his musical choice, and he'll likely deny any ulterior motive to his Boston pops.
Judge does like to play loud music in the Yankees clubhouse and has been seen sporting a devilish smile, likely knowing it irritates the media when they enter the room to do interviews with voice recorders. His tastes vary from Michael Jackson to Aretha Franklin and everything in-between.
No one particularly figured him to be a Sinatra fan. Derek Jeter’s Yankees exit was punctuated by Sinatra's “My Way,’’ though Jeter never revealed his musical tastes during his tenure. And he certainly was never seen with a boombox.
“New York, New York,’’ from the 1977 movie of the same title, was originally recorded by Liza Minnelli. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner loved Sinatra's rendition and it started to be heard at the Stadium after games — win or lose — around 1980.
According to the Record of New Jersey, Steinbrenner was said to have first heard the song at Le Club, a discotheque. The New York Times quoted the club’s disc jockey as saying “Mr. Steinbrenner really liked it. I noticed he was always dancing to that song."
Steinbrenner dancing? Start spreading the news.
Steinbrenner contacted Sinatra’s agent and asked permission to use the song in the Stadium. Sinatra agreed. Sinatra grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey, and was a fan of the New York Giants. He later became friendly with longtime Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.
Sinatra was not a Yankees fan. In a 1981 television special, his prelude to “New York, New York,'' was chiding the Yankees after they lost to the Dodgers in the World Series.