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Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos
When Aaron Judge made baseball history in 2022, two very important people were in the stands cheering him on: his parents, Patty and Wayne Judge.
The proud parents have become a staple at Aaron's baseball games, and continued to support their son as the New York Yankees competed for a spot in the 2022 World Series. (Although the team ultimately lost to the Houston Astros during the American League Championship.)
Patty and Wayne first met as students at Fresno State University — where Aaron would later play baseball himself — and wed in 1975. They eventually adopted two sons: John Jacob in 1985 and Aaron in 1992.
During an interview with HERLIFE magazine, Patty said that raising her family has been her proudest accomplishment. "My greatest accomplishment and achievement in life has been the love and development of our family," she shared. "Each of our boys has taken unique paths to make an impact in the world. We are proud of their accomplishments and their efforts to make the world a better place."
Here is everything to know about Aaron Judge's parents, Patty and Wayne Judge.
They adopted Aaron two days after he was born
Aaron Judge Instagram
Wayne and Patty met Aaron when he was only 2 days old. As Aaron told the New York Post in 2015, that's the day that his parents held him for the first time. "I feel they kind of picked me. I feel that God was the one that matched us together," he said.
Patty, however, disagrees completely. As she told the outlet, it's the other way around. "We're more blessed than he is," she said.
Wayne joked that he and Patty had their work cut out for them as parents to an infant Aaron, who was a pretty big baby. As Wayne put it, "We kind of joked that he looked like the Michelin Tire baby. It wasn't long before the 4 ounces of formula was just the appetizer and it had to be the formula with the oatmeal to pacify him."
They explained Aaron's adoption when he was 10 years old
Aaron was around 10 years old when he began to notice physical differences between himself and his parents. He told the New York Post in 2015, "I was about 10 or 11 and we really didn't look alike, so I started asking questions and they told me I was adopted and answered all my questions, and that was that. I was fine with it. It really didn't bother me because that's the only parents I've known."
He reiterated that sentiment in 2017 when speaking to MLB.com, saying, "They just kind of told me I was adopted. I was like, 'OK, that's fine with me.' You're still my mom, the only mom I know. You're still my dad, the only dad I know."
They were focused on his character development and education
Aaron Judge Instagram
When Aaron was a kid, Wayne and Patty wanted their son to focus on one thing: being a good person. Wayne told Recordnet in July 2010 that even though it was clear Aaron was extremely athletic, they had other goals for him as parents. "His mother and I just wanted him to be a really good person. But we knew from a very young age, as soon as we put a ball in his hand, that he had a lot of natural talent," Wayne shared.
Aaron carried those lessons into his teen years when he and his basketball team would spend their weekends volunteering and picking up trash. As he explained, "That was one of my favorite things to do. We all got up real early, had breakfast and walked around the community picking up garbage. We had a lot of fun. It was a good bonding experience."
He also told MLB.com that Wayne and Patty wanted him to put his "education first and make sure I prioritized everything. If I was going to make plans, stick to them. Make sure I'm on a tight schedule and make sure I don't miss anything."
Patty is the reason Aaron is a Yankee
New York Yankees/Getty
When it comes to crediting his success in baseball, Aaron points to one source of inspiration and motivation: his mother. In a 2017 interview with MLB.com, Aaron insisted that none of his feats would exist today without her.
"I know I wouldn't be a New York Yankee if it wasn't for my mom. The guidance she gave me as a kid growing up, knowing the difference from right and wrong, how to treat people and how to go the extra mile and put in extra work, all that kind of stuff. She's molded me into the person that I am today," the outfielder said.
Fittingly, Patty was there when Aaron re-signed with the Yankees in December 2022. The athlete posted pictures from the day on Instagram, including a group shot with his parents and wife.
"Today was a dream. I am honored and privileged to represent the Yankees and the city of New York for the rest of my career. Thank you to the Steinbrenner family, my teammates, my family, and most importantly, to the greatest fans in the world," he wrote in the caption.
Wayne is Aaron's hero
Aaron also has plenty of praise for his father Wayne. In July 2022, Aaron told PEOPLE that his father has been there for him every step of the way. "He's always been my hero, always a guy I looked up to," he shared.
The Yankee also spoke about playing catch with his dad outside. "Looking back on those childhood memories, I could tell he didn't want to do it. I could tell he was tired. He'd had a long day of work. But he never said no. He never complained, nothing. So for me, that's why he's still the hero in my eyes."
They witnessed Aaron's 61st home run
Aaron made history when he hit his 61st home run in September 2022, and Patty and Wayne were right there in the stands to see him do it. Aaron gave Patty the ball that broke Babe Ruth's home run record and explained after the game, "Getting to share this moment with my mom ... it means a lot ..."
Patty runs the ALL RISE Foundation with Aaron
According to HERLIFE magazine, Aaron founded the Aaron Judge ALL RISE Foundation (AJARF) in 2017 and appointed his mom as its executive director. Since then, the two have organized annual camps and programs for children, leadership conferences and an All-Star Evening Gala. The foundation also offers a mini-grant program to community-based organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, the Greater Stockton Yosemite Boy Scouts of America and Valley Children's Healthcare, among others.
Aaron told the outlet that the values his mother instilled in him are evident in everything their foundation does. "I know I wouldn't be a professional athlete without my mom," he said. "The guidance she gave me as a kid growing up, knowing the difference between right and wrong, how to treat people, how to go the extra mile and put in the extra work—all those values are the values we want to instill in the lives of each young person we work with through the ALL RISE Foundation. If we can do that, we are living our mission."