On July 30th, 2018 Vladimir Guerrero became the first player to go into the Hall of Fame wearing an Angel hat. Guerrero spent six years with the team and won an AL MVP Award in 2004.
When Vladimir Guerrero walked across the stage in Cooperstown, New York he made Angel history as he became the first player to do so as an Angel. It was a very special moment for all Angels fans to see the team to be recognized in Cooperstown.
Guerrero did many great things during his Major League career and had some outstanding years for the Angels in helping them win five division titles. Not only was Guerrero one of the best players to wear an Angel uniform, he was a good person as well.
During his time as an Angel Guerrero wore the number 27 jersey and did that number proud. He was the best player to wear that jersey in Angel history until a fellow by the name of Mike Trout came along. Trout burst on the scene in 2011 without a lot of fanfare, but in 2012 hits first full season Trout put up MVP-like numbers in his first full season. In the five years since he has continued to put up strong numbers and has won two AL MVP’s in 2014 and 2016.
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Normally when a player reaches the Hall of Fame his club will retire his jersey. However, in Guerrero’s case it’s a little bit tricky as Trout has followed him and may be the best player in Angels history. So what can the Angels do to make things right and honor both players? There are three scenarios.
Retire the #27 for Vladimir Guerrero, but allow Trout to wear it until he is done with the team.
This scenario is a possibility as it would be right to honor Guerrero now for his accomplishments. If Trout continues to be the great player he has been these seven seasons he will most likely get the nod for Cooperstown as well and then you can hang a #27 Trout Jersey up as well.
It wasn’t either players’ fault that they both had the same number as it was not a foregone conclusion Guerrero would be a hall of famer when his career ended in 2011. The Angels also did not know if Guerrero would choose to go in the Hall as an Angel or as an Expo, his first team.
Mike Trout changes his number allowing the Angels to retire Vladimir Guerrero’s #27.
Trout would most likely do this if he was asked as that is the kind of guy he is. He might even volunteer to do so. Some might see this as a sign of disrespect to Trout, but I don’t think he would see it this way.
Trout wore both #2 and #1 as a kid. The #2 was in honor of Derek Jeter his favorite player growing up. He changed to #1 in high school. Trout could wear either of those jerseys for the Angels if he chose to switch and then the Angels could retire that number if he is elected to the Hall of Fame in the future.
Do nothing at this point and see how things play out.
The Angels could also just let things play out and decide at a later date if they want to retire Guerrero’s jersey (they most likely will eventually). I’m sure Vladimir would be honored to have his jersey number retired, but just like Trout he is a gracious person and would not make a big deal if the Angels waited to do so.
In my opinion both players should get their day in the sun and I think the Angels will do the right thing to honor both players at some point in the future. I would like to see Guerrero have his jersey retired in the not too distant future as he deserves that honor. Trout unless something major happened will deserve that honor as well once his playing days are done.
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