Vladimir Guerrero says he will wear an #Angels cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. He'll be the first player to do so. The Angels were founded in 1961.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) January 25, 2018
I mean… one can hardly see a Hall of Famer’s cap these days anyway, scorched as they are by the fiery heat of the earth’s sun. But yeah, this isn’t going to go over so well in this country — where we’re all so excited for what Vlad Jr. is going to be as a Blue Jay, and where the Montréal baseball revival seems to have real legs.
It perhaps shouldn’t go over well either!
Vlad Sr. played 1004 games in his eight years with the Expos, compared to 846 in six years with the Angels. He hit 234 of his 449 home runs as an Expo, compared to 173 as an Angel. He stole 123 of his 181 stolen bases as an Expo, and just 52 in Anaheim. His OPS+ with the Expos was 148, as compared to 141 with the Angels. The bulk of his Hall of Fame resume was put together in Montréal! He did win his only MVP in Anaheim, but were it not up to him, I think this one would be a no-brainer.
But, of course, he does have a say — at least that’s what Bob Nightengale tells us, though Guerrero’s agent had a different story over the weekend — and these are his wishes, and… well… you maybe can’t even blame him. And you can be sure that he’s not turning his back on his Expos career, that he’ll have much to say in Cooperstown about Felipe Alou and his years as that franchise’s last pre-revival superstar, and that this wasn’t an easy decision for him.
And the thing is, he wasn’t part of the 1994 strike team, he was part of some pretty fucking sad years as that franchise declined. Maybe the connection just isn’t quite the same. Plus, he never played in the playoffs there, but did five times in six seasons for the Angels (though, of course, he missed that franchise’s one World Series title by a year).
Plus, y’know, given that the Expos currently don’t even exist, meh, whatever. It’s fine. Right? Go in as a member of the Las Vegas 51s for all I care! Though, to be honest, I’d have hoped he went the other way on this, as I’m sure many in these parts would have as well. Guess that just means Larry Walker will have to do it! (Though that would actually be even more absurd than Vladdy going in this way!)