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What cap would Vlad wear in the Hall of Fame?

Sep 14, 2009, 10:38 AM EDT

I’m not 100% certain that Vlad Guerrero would make the Hall of Fame if he retired today.  He probably should, but after spending his entire career playing in obscurity and/or the west coast, one wonders if he looms as large in the minds of Hall of Fame voters as his accomplishments warrant.  But let’s say he does make the Hall. What cap does he wear?  That’s the question Bill Shaikin asks:

Guerrero won his only Most Valuable Player award with the Angels in 2004. He has made his only playoff appearances with the Angels, with one home run in 75 at-bats, one run batted in his last playoff 63 at-bats and no trips to the World Series.

He has four All-Star appearances with the Expos, four with the Angels. He is the Expos’ franchise leader in batting average and home runs. He played more years in Montreal, with more runs, hits, home runs and RBIs for the Expos than for the Angels. Give him two more years in Anaheim, and he’ll have more runs, hits and RBIs for the Angels.

Hall caps are more about accurately reflecting history than anything else, and the raw stats don’t always matter.  Look at Reggie. He won more World Series championships and had his best individual seasons with the A’s, but there he is in Cooperstown wearing a Yankees’ cap.  And that makes sense, because when we think of Reggie, we think of Reggie the Yankee.  At least those of us (a) outside of the Bay Area; and (b) under the age of 45 do.

To me Vlad Guerrero will always be an Expo.  Yes, he has that MVP and has been in the playoffs and on TV more as an Angel, but when I think of him, I think of him in an Expos uniform. That’s where he played his most electrifying baseball.  It’s where he burst into our consciousness.

Guerrero is a DH now, and he’s almost certainly on the downswing of his career. Unless he has some late-career Reggie-in-the-1977-World Series moment in Anaheim, I can’t see my mind changing about him, and I tend to think that the folks at the Hall of Fame will feel the same way.  Assuming, of course, they get the chance to consider him.

  1. Grat - Sep 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Maybe it’s an age thing, but I think of him as an Angel. That MVP year was pretty great, and I never really paid attention to the Expos when they were still around. Not until they were terrible and MLB-owned and ready to move, drawing like 1000 fans a game or whatever.

    Looking at his stats, though, he had better years as an Expo that didn’t win him an MVP, so that discounts that line of reasoning. Unless the Angels win the World Series on the back of his heroics or something sometime soon, I think once he’s eligible the Expos will win out.

  2. Frank Pepe - Sep 14, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Expos.. please… just give us that. Just give us that

  3. HOTROD - Sep 14, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    SO VLAD AND GARY ” KID” CARTER CAN RETURN TO BE HONORED BY THE
    EXPOS AND GET CHEERED BY THE CROWD IN MONTREAL…………..
    WAIT A MINUTE THERE IS NO MONTREAL EXPO BASEBALL TEAM YOU SILLY
    GOOSE………
    BASEBALL WRITERS SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN SO MUCH AUTHORITY TO SELECT A
    PLAYERS TEAM FOR WHICH HE WILL ENTER THE HALL TO REPRESENT…….
    DAVE WINFIELD SOLD HIS CAP TO THE PADRES……….
    WADE BOGGS HIS TO TAMPA BAY ………
    ROGER ROCKET CLEMENS SAID” THEY KNOW THEY BETTER SEND ME IN AS A
    YANKEE, OR MY MOM AND I WILL HAVE OUR OWN CEREMONY…….
    I WOULD NOT SHOW UP IF I DIDN’T CHOOSE MY TEAM………….
    SOME OF THESE BASEBALL WRITERS SUCK, WHY WOULD I LET THEM DECIDE
    MY FAITH.

  4. GimmeSomeSteel - Sep 14, 2009 at 11:59 PM

    Clemens may never have to worry about that one.
    I think of Guerrero as an Expo first, but that may be because I’ve never lived in an AL-Only city. If there are no Expos in the Hall, let him go in wearing the Montreal cap.

  5. screen print t shirts - Feb 1, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    This blog definitely gave me some info I can use, thanks!

  6. Stop Sweating - Feb 8, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at special end there, not leave it with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.

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