LA Angels News

How should the LA Angels celebrate Vladimir Guerrero’s HOF induction?

By David Rice
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 26: Former Angel Vladimir Guerrero waves to the crowd as he is inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame before the game between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 26, 2017 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 26: Former Angel Vladimir Guerrero waves to the crowd as he is inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame before the game between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 26, 2017 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
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Last month the LA Angels made history courtesy of former outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.  Guerrero was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame and two days later decided to go in wearing an Angel hat.

Vladimir Guerrero was one of the best outfielders of his era having eight great seasons with the Montreal Expos.  When Angel owner Arte Moreno bought the team from the Disney Corporation in 2003 he wanted to make a big splash that winter and he did just that.  The Angels signed Guerrero to a five-year deal worth 70 million dollars as well as signing pitchers Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar all in a matter of days.

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Guerrero paid immediate dividends as became only the second Angel player to win the American Legue Most Valuable Player Award in 2004.  In five of Guerrero’s six seasons  with the Angels the team made the playoffs including two ALCS appearances.  His overall numbers in the six years Guerrero spent in Anaheim were pretty impressive.  Guerrero hit 173 homers and drove in 616 RBIs with a .319 batting average.

Guerrero averaged 29 homers and 103 RBI’s per season which would have been higher if not for missing 60 games in 2009 which limited Guerrero to 15 homers and 50 runs batted in.  While with the Angels Guerrero also hit his 400th career home run and drove in his 1000th run of his career.

For his career Vladimir Guerrero hit 449 home runs and drove in 1,496 runs with a .318 batting average in 16 seasons.  Guerrero left the Angels in 2010 to play for Texas and then later Baltimore for a season in 2011.  Guerrero who battled knee issues his whole career decided to retire.  In 2014 Guerrero decided to sign a one day contract with the Angels in order to retire as an Angel.

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Guerrero was then honored in a pre-game ceremony throwing the first pitch to former Angel hitting coach Don Baylor, who at the time was the only other Angel to win an AL MVP Award.  Then last season Guerrero was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame in a pre-game ceremony on August 26th, 2017.  So now Guerrero is an MLB Hall of Famer and is going in as an Angel.

Now the question becomes how should the Angels honor Guerrero for being the first hall of farmer in Angels history.  The Angels have already announced August 10th as Vladimir Guerrero Hall of Fame Bobblehead doll night against Oakland.  Are they planning on doing more than just the bobblehead giveaway?  Likely they are.  Most teams would retire the player’s jersey number, but in this case that would create a unique situation.

See Vladimir Guerrero wore #27 in his time with the Angels, but now the Angels have a new #27 who is very special as well, Mike Trout.  Trout has started his career like no other Angel in history winning two MVP awards and finishing second three times as well.  Trout has hit 201 homers and drove in 569 runs with a .306 batting average with a .410 OBP and a .566 Slugging Percentage.  Trout is well on his way to being a Hall of Famer as well.

So if the Angels retire Vladimir Guerrero’s #27 do they retire it again after Trout retires, provided he continues his stellar career.  The Angels will have to decide this between now and August.  My opinion is that they consult with Trout and Guerrero first before they do anything.  Both are good guys and team players and I think they can come to a decision that will honor both players legacies.

One cannot assume that Trout will continue his torrid pace of his first six seasons, but he has given no sign of slowing down other than a thumb injury in 2017.  Not only that, Trout still has four more seasons left in an Angel uniform and hopefully longer if they are able to re-sign Trout after the 2021 season.

Next: How are the Angels at the Corner infield spot?

It will be interesting to see what the Angels decide to do, but one thing is for sure the Angels have their first inductee in the MLB Hall of Fame and that is pretty cool.  Congrats to “Big Daddy Vladdy” Vladimir Guerrero we are proud of you.

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