February 9th, This Day In Baseball History
Happy Birthday Vladimir Guerrero!
Vladimir Guerrero is widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Throughout his 16-year career in Major League Baseball (MLB), Guerrero amassed an impressive list of accolades, including nine All-Star selections, eight Silver Slugger Awards, and a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2004.
Born in the Dominican Republic in 1975, Guerrero grew up playing baseball on the streets and fields of his hometown. He began his professional career in 1996, signing with the Montreal Expos as a free agent. In his first season, he made an immediate impact, hitting .315 with 38 home runs and 109 RBIs and earning Rookie of the Year honors.
Throughout his career, Guerrero was known for his incredible hitting abilities. He had a unique and unorthodox swing that allowed him to hit balls that were seemingly out of reach, earning him the nickname "Vlad the Impaler." He was a career .318 hitter and hit 449 home runs, ranking him among the top 100 home run hitters in MLB history.
Vladimir Guerrero began his Major League Baseball career with the Montreal Expos, where he spent the first eight seasons of his career. During this time, he established himself as one of the best hitters in the game and quickly became a fan favorite in Montreal.
In his first season with the Expos, Guerrero earned Rookie of the Year honors after hitting .315 with 38 home runs and 109 RBIs. Over the next several years, he continued to put up impressive numbers, hitting over .300 in each of his first seven seasons with the team and regularly leading the league in home runs and RBIs.
Despite his individual success, the Expos struggled as a team during Guerrero's time in Montreal. The team was often plagued by financial difficulties and could not build a competitive roster around their star player. Despite these challenges, Guerrero remained a dedicated and passionate player, always giving his all on the field.
Unfortunately, Guerrero's time with the Expos ended in 2003 when he became a free agent and signed with the Anaheim Angels to a five-year $70 million deal. Despite his departure, Guerrero remains a beloved figure in Montreal and is remembered as one of the greatest players in the history of the Expos franchise.
In his first season with the Angels, Guerrero had one of the best years of his career, hitting .337 with 39 home runs and 126 RBIs. He was instrumental in leading the team to their first American League West division title in 16 years and was named the American League MVP for his efforts.
One of the highlights of Guerrero's time with the Angels was his performance in the 2005 American League Championship Series against the Chicago White Sox. Despite playing through injuries, he hit .500 in the series and helped lead the Angels to their first World Series appearance since 2002.
In 2009, Guerrero again became a free agent and signed with the Texas Rangers. He would spend one season in Texas before ending his career with the Orioles.
In 2018, Guerrero was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, solidifying his status as one of the greatest players in the game's history. Now he gets to sit back and watch his son hopefully tear up the MLB for the next 15 years.