After being one of two players to get at least 70% of the votes and not get elected into the Hall of Fame in the 2017 election, Vladimir Guerrero will join Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, and Jim Thome as part of the 2018 National Baseball Hall of Fame class.
Guerrero came from humble beginnings, growing up poor and living in a two-room shack in the Dominican Republic before he showed up unannounced to a tryout on the back of a motorcycle while wearing mismatched shoes. Guerrero would then sign a $2,500 deal with Fred Ferreira after the tryout, and the rest is history.
In his Hall of Fame career, Guerrero slugged 449 home runs in his 16-year career, with a .318 batting average, 1496 RBI, .931 OPS, with 2598 hits with a 59.3 WAR. From an award standpoint, Guerrero was selected to play in 9 All-Star Games, won 8 Silver Sluggers, and an MVP award in 2004. All of this, not to mention Guerrero’s cannon for an arm and ability to hit any pitch thrown to him.
Big Daddy Vladdy first established himself as one of the premier power hitters in baseball with the Montreal Expos. In his 8-year Expos career, Guerrero played in 1004 games and compiled 234 home runs, 702 RBI, 1,215 hits, and 2,211 total bases. Vlad also hit .323 with a .390 on-base percentage, a .588 slugging percentage, and a .978 OPS. Guerrero was acquired by the Anaheim Angels as a free agent in the 2003-2004 offseason.
In his 6 seasons for the Halos, Guerrero led the Angels to 5 playoff appearances. Vlad compiled 1034 hits with 173 home runs, 616 RBI, and a .319 batting average. Vlad also put up a .381 on-base percentage with a .927 OPS. Guerrero’s only MVP award came during his first year as an Angel. Guerrero would later be sent to the Texas Rangers in 2010 and retired after his 2011 season with the Baltimore Orioles.
Vladimir Guerrero was one of very few players during his tenure in the big leagues to hit for power and a high batting average. Guerrero also was a fun right fielder to watch during his career with excellent fielding abilities and a fantastic arm. In addition, one thing that no one can deny is that even if you are not a big fan of statistics, Guerrero just simply felt like a Hall of Fame player.
Vladimir has certainly come a long way, going from living in a shack in the Dominican to a National Baseball Hall of Famer, and you can guarantee that Vlad will be wearing matching shoes when he is inducted in July.