Apple TV+ is nearing the end of its first season as a streaming partner for Major League Baseball, with games airing on the platform every Friday night throughout the season. And this week, Apple may be in line to stream some baseball history.
The New York Yankees will host the Boston Red Sox on Friday, Sept. 24, and as of Tuesday, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge had 59 home runs on the season. This puts him just two homers shy of Roger Maris’ 61 in 1961, which is the record for homers in a season by a Yankee and by an American League player.
And because all of the players with more homers in a season than Maris — Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa — have been implicated in the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Maris’ record is seen by many fans (though not the record book) as the legitimate overall Major League record. Therefore, if Judge were to pass Maris’ mark, many would consider him the “true” single-season home run king.
Therefore, with games against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday and Wednesday before beginning a four-game series with Boston on Thursday, Judge could break Maris’ record in Friday’s game which is scheduled to air on Apple TV+, to the apparent unhappiness of some fans.
The New York Post highlighted the issue that should Judge tie or break Maris’ record on Friday, some Yankee fans, especially older, less tech-savvy ones, might be unable to watch the game. The Post’s Andrew Marchand also reported that baseball has “no plans” to change the broadcast schedule.
The Apple games are free to watch, for anyone with an internet connection and Apple account, but it’s likely that some fans will turn on the YES Network — the team’s normal broadcast home — Friday night expecting to watch Judge’s chase for the record, only to find it’s not there. There have been similar backlashes in other cities this baseball season, such as when fans of the Philadelphia Phillies discovered that the team’s game on Father’s Day was exclusive to Peacock, and not available on the team’s usual broadcast partner NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Then again, the point could become moot, as the Yankees play three games between Tuesday and Friday, and it’s very possible Judge could overtake Maris’ record prior to the Apple TV+ game.