The ex-commissioner of Major League Baseball talks about the pursuit of the MLS record at home.

Aaron Judge of the Yankees is exactly what we need in Major League Baseball today. It is giant in many ways. At 6 feet 7 inches and 285 pounds, he’s steadily close to Roger Maris’ one-season MLS and Yankee record of 61 in 1961.

He’s hit 60, and there are 14 games left at this writing, so his chances are good. He also has a chance to lead the league in his teammates, batting runs, and hitting average — a rare Triple Crown — that a Yankee hasn’t done since Mickey Mantle in 1956.

What makes Judge great is not only his feats on the field, though impressive, but also the elegant and clever way he behaves off the field. He is careful with the press, does not lose his composure or embarrass himself in public, and allows his performance to speak loudly. As Mr. Clean, you show the judge what it means to be a person of character. He grew up playing a child’s game. And she loves him.

I remember the 1961 season when the Maris broke the most baseball records for the Homers in a season that has lasted since 1927, when Babe Ruth scored 60 Yankees on his way to immortality. I remember being against Maris because Babe was a formidable baseball legend. Breaking records can involve a pinch as we turn the page on a vaunted hero.

Judge’s record efforts raise the question of how to view records tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use by record-breakers including Barry Bonds, whose 73 home runs is the record for a single season in the Major League. As a fan, I chose to honor those who didn’t cheat like Maris – and Judge, if he takes the record. Others dispute and argue that the claims are not evidence.

But, in 1961, long before the PEDs, Maris and teammate Mickey Mantle were having amazingly good years; Mantle hit 54 home runs and the two Yankees helped their team’s 109-53 season and World Series Championship over the Cincinnati Reds.

I suspect the Yankees players would have agreed that the best player on the great Yankee team was bowler Edward “Whitey” Ford, the underhanded left-hander, whose record that season was 25-4. Ford won two games and was the best player in the world championship that year. His victories were both solid.

I once asked Ford what made him so successful that year and whether it was helped by all the attention he got from Maris and Mantell.

Ford explained that after 1960, his tenth season, the Yankees toured Japan, Yankee coach Johnny Sen advised Ford, who had relied on his fastball/curve arsenal, to use the tour to increase his pitch range by learning the change from Japanese pitchers, And a new slider from Sain, in his career he is a great football player.

Ford came home with two new pitches and said he was a completely different pitcher in 1961. The Major League hitters were accustomed to Ford’s two-pitch, and his 25 victories showed how well he took advantage of his new pitches.

Ford in the Hall of Fame, as well as the mantle. Judge turns 30, approaching a new level of fame, and a massive decision when his contract with Yankee expires at the end of this season. Ford is a reminder that adjusting to being an older player requires making changes as he did in Japan.

The judge appears to be on his way to becoming a rare and worthy overall champion. If so, it will also prove that he has made wise adjustments to difficult challenges. Life and baseball require such adjustments.

A native of Connecticut, Faye Vincent was commissioner for Major League Baseball from 1989 to 1992.