NEW YORK -- The buzz in this place is palpable.
Fans crane their necks to catch a glimpse of the newest New York Yankees star, the latest Prometheus in pinstripes, and at 6 feet, 7 inches, they keep looking up, and up and up.
A group in the outfield sports judge robes, wigs and hold a sign that says, "ALL RISE."
And now it is time for Aaron Judge to play both jury and executioner.
Runners on first and third in the sixth inning with no outs, a 2-and-2 count and the Yankees down 3-1 to the visiting Houston Astros on a pristine Thursday night: A perfect setting for Judge to add to his growing legend.
Only the myth-making will have to come on another day, or at least on another at-bat. The mighty Judge has struck out, twisted into a question mark by Dallas Kuechel's off-speed pitch.
Judge heads to the dugout, fooled, questioning his approach.
A man with the prodigious power to swat fastballs somewhere into Staten Island -- an entirely different borough -- Judge is striving to continue the consistency that thrust him into the media spotlight after one of the most productive first months in Yankees rookie history.
Two days before, the crowning achievement of his young career was unveiled: He would be land on the cover of the newest Sports Illustrated, to debut five days later.
The honor, deserved. He ended April with a line that would make a seasoned veteran drool -- 10 home runs, 20 RBIs, 23 runs scored -- but on this Thursday, the American League Rookie of the Month found himself amid his biggest slump of the season, with two hits in his last 12 at-bats.
In the visitors' clubhouse, Houston's George Springer, no slouch of a slugger himself, offered some advice he picked up from a sage baseball soul.
"The best thing I was ever told is you can accidentally go hit 20, but it's what do you with the other 135, 165 hits you get that define you," Springer said.
"You may get 20 homers in a year -- heck, he may get 50 -- but can you be a complete player every day?"
The words are not lost on Judge.
He entered the offseason last winter hoping to plug the rather gaping hole in his swing, a chasm opposing pitchers exploited to the tune of 42 strikeouts in 84 at-bats in 27 games in the bigs.
Although his home runs would travel great distances, there were only four of them, along with 10 RBIs and a .179 batting average, a cameo appearance that did little to portend the things to come.
This season, in four more games and in 27 more at-bats, he has struck out seven fewer times.
"I'm still the same guy, with basically the same approach, (but) I'm trying to stick it more consistently," Judge said on Thursday. "That's what separates the good players from the great players.
"Last year, I'd get down 0-and-1, and I'd think how'd I miss that first pitch? Then all of a sudden it's strike two and I'm worried about both, and before you know it, I'm walking back to the dugout."
He said his goal last offseason was the same as always -- try to become a more complete player.
But the truth is, he will always be compared to Babe Ruth. The Babe, the most legendary home run hitter in Yankees history. Judge's homers have already been given the familiar adjective: Ruthian.
And on Thursday, he will show why, even if it comes during batting practice.
Around 4:56 p.m., he took his turn in the Yankees' rotation and went to work. His first bomb dropped barely shy of the Modell's sign in right field. Three pitches later he sent one sailing behind the Toyota sign in center-right. Four minutes later, his next trip to the plate, he smashed one above the Coach sign in right field.
"(Judge) just touching a baseball, it's got a chance to go out of the park," Houston relief pitcher Will Harris said. "It's that raw strength, that raw power -- that's something you don't see anymore. It's a change of pace to see a guy that big playing that well."
The question now becomes: How long will it last?
Fresh off an 11-for-21 stretch from April 29-May 5 that included four home runs and nine RBIs, Judge's bat went sour. Are opposing pitchers starting to figure him out again?
The real proof will come with Judge's reaction to his first funk of 2017.
On Friday, he would go 2-for-4 with a double, before getting a day off on Saturday because of a rainout.
"Baseball is a humbling game," Judge said. "It'll humble you real quick. I may be 4-for-4 tonight and 0-for-20 the next four games. You have to see it that way, or the game will humble you."
That, more than his gargantuan frame, more than his overwhelming power, more even than his more well-rounded approach this year, impresses his teammates.
The toast of the baseball world for the first sixth of the season, Judge appears to stay grounded, even as his home runs are anything but.
"I think we all always thought he could do what he's doing, and it was just a matter of him applying it," Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said. "We knew what his potential could be. But that's one of the things that's been so refreshing to see; he's been great about this.
"It's a part of being here, putting on the pinstripes. It's an honor. A privilege."
For now, it's just one Sports Illustrated cover.
Keep hitting the cover off the ball, and there will be more.
"I feel like I was blessed to be in this situation," Judge said. "I could work out the kinks in the minors and once I made it to the majors, hopefully never look back. I've got a job to do, that's how I see it. My job is to help the Yankees win baseball games.
"All the other stuff that comes with that, that's just part of the job."