Aaron Judge explains how his teammate’s dog helped convince him to return to the Yankees

The Judge of New York spoke.

Beloved Yankee Aaron Judge opened up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon about re-signing with the Yankees and it turns out Anthony Rizzo’s dog played a part.

Fallon revealed that Judge’s dog, Penny, and Rizzo’s dog, Kevin, were best friends, and it would be hard to separate the two.

Rizzo, who had also re-signed with the Yankees this offseason, was texting and calling Judge every day, even sending pictures of Kevin and Penny together, and “working hard” to get him re-signed.

“It always comes down to your pet, doesn’t it?” Fallon asked jokingly.

“He went for my heart,” Judge said of Rizzo’s tactics.

The late night host then released a photo of the two weenier dogs frolicking together in the Yankee Stadium outfield.

Rizzo’s dog, Kevin, on the right, and Judge’s dog, Penny, on the left.
Youtube / The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The 30-year-old Judge, who signed a nine-year, $360 million contract last month on Dec. 7, 2022, after months of speculation whether he would re-sign with the Bronx Bombers, called his brief “fun process” free agency.

“Every athlete wants to get to that position, where they can kind of choose, you know, where they can play. I happened to be drafted by the best team on the planet,” the superstar slugger told Fallon.

Fallon asked the American League home run leader how the courting process went with other teams during his free agency.

Despite meeting “a lot of great teams,” Judge said he knew he would return to the Bronx.


New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Aaron Judge finalize the judges' nine-year contract.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Aaron Judge finalize the judges’ nine-year contract.
Getty Images

“After every meeting, I would sit with my wife, and we’d kinda look at each other and be like, ‘We’re Yankees.'”

Once Judge re-signed with the Yankees, the organization announced that he would also be the 16th captain in the franchise’s long history.

The judge, who said he was shocked to be named captain, revealed he was on the phone with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner to close the deal, when he was told at the end of the phone call that he would start the 2023 season as captain. .

Fallon asked if the new Yankees captain had any contact with former Yankees captain, Bronx Bombers legend Derek Jeter.


The moment Judge hit his 62nd homer against the Texas Rangers on October 4, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.
The moment Judge hit his 62nd homer against the Texas Rangers on October 4, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.
Getty Images

The judge said he spoke to Jeter during the free agency process and the five-time World Series champion said he would take him to lunch to discuss what he had been through during his free agency.

Before the two icons could meet, Judge had signed the multi-million dollar contract, and the conversation between him and Jeter changed tone.

“‘Now you’re going to take me to lunch, lunch and dinner,'” the judge said, Jeter told him.

Judge finished the 2022 season with 62 homers, breaking the American League record that Yankee Roger Maris had held since 1961. He was also named the AL MVP and was selected to his fourth All-Star Game appearance.

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