This is the first and last blog I will ever write about baseball. My expertise might be hockey now, but between 1996 and 2003 (when I was 9 years old to 16 years old), I loved baseball. Nothing was more thrilling to me than going to the “Big O” in Montreal to catch an Expos game with my father.
Coincidentally, there was a particular player who wore #27 for the Montreal Expos that fascinated me during those 7 years. I’m referring to Vladimir Guerrero of course. To this day, there is no other athlete in any sport that I admired as much as I admired Guerrero. It was to the point where I coordinated my many visits to the concession stands so that I would never miss one of Guerrero’s at-bats. My love for baseball started when Guerrero entered the league, and it ended when Guerrero left Montreal to go to Anaheim. I still enjoy going to ball games occasionally, but my passion for the sport just isn’t the same anymore.
One thing I used to do a lot when I was a baseball fan was look at and analyze the statistics. I haven’t done this in a while, but in the wake of Vladimir Guerrero being on the cusp of either returning for one last MLB season or retiring from the sport, here goes….
48 players in MLB history have hit 400+ home runs.
65 players in MLB history had a career batting average of .315 or better. (min 8 yrs)
71 players in MLB history have 1400+ RBIs.
93 players in MLB history have recorded 2500+ hits.
121 players in MLB history have scored 1300+ runs.
Considering all the players that have ever played professional baseball, those are all impressive achievements. However, the question I have is how many players in MLB history have accomplished ALL 5?
The answer is 6 players. They are Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Jimmie Foxx and VLADIMIR GUERRERO.
That’s pretty impressive company for Guerrero, especially considering the other 5 are widely regarded as baseball legends. Those numbers in itself should be good enough to warrant Hall of Fame induction for Guerrero, but to really appreciate Vlad’s career, you have to look beyond the numbers. He had a reputation as being one of the most feared hitters by pitchers, and that includes the later years of his career. He never took performance-enhancing drugs in an era when it was accepted to do so. He also never played for a stacked team in his prime with other great hitters around him to inflate his numbers even more.
On a personal note, I always appreciated that even though he didn’t speak English, he ALWAYS made time to sign autographs for the fans in Montreal before games. I can’t even count the number of baseballs, cards and magazines I have that have Guerrero’s autograph on it. That may not count for something on the official hall-of-fame ballot, but being courteous to the fans counts in my book.
Simply put, Vladimir Guerrero was a superstar who played the game the right way. For that, the 9-time all star and 8-time Silver Slugger award winner deserves to one day be voted into Cooperstown. Hopefully his plaque will feature an Expos hat too!
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.