This Sunday, Randy Johnson will be enshrined in the fraternal order of baseball greats. When he goes in, his bronze face will dawn the cap of the Arizona Diamondbacks, much to the dismay of Seattle Mariner fans. With all of this talk of the hall of fame, I got a little anxious, in my own right. I did my research and pondered which player will be the first to dawn that glorious halo cap in all bronze. In fact, its slightly surprising that there are still a few teams who have no players in the hall. (or I should say represented by the cap their busts are wearing) By the way, in case you were wondering there are six teams without a hall of fame representing their cap. The Angels, Mariners, Nationals, (since Expos don’t count) Rays, Rockies, and Marlins. Although I could go on and on about which player should be each of these said teams first HOF, discounting the Mariners because we all know Ken Griffey Jr. will be their first. So lets focus on the Angels.
Sure, in the year 2030 Mike Trout will more than likely be inducted into Cooperstown, and it will more than likely be with that Angel halo cap. Unfortunately, I just can’t wait that long, I mean I get angry when Dominos doesn’t deliver my pizza on time. So there has to be another name, another player to make a strong case for the hall and Halos. In my exhaustive search I found a few worthy candidates but my heart was set on one player and one player only. Ladies and gentleman, I propose to you the first member of the Hall of Fame wearing an Angels cap: Vladimir ‘The Impaler’ Guerrero. Now, before you freak out and write me off as a loser, just hold on. I understand that Vlad played more games with the Expos than he did with the Angels, and I’m sure for some of you purists out there, Vlad will always be thought of as an Expo. But not me, and here’s why you shouldn’t either.
While some of Vlad’s best stats are split between the Halos and the Expos, His MVP season (2004) came as a member of the Angels. With the Angels he was a 4-time silver slugger and all-star, whilst only being able to post silver slugger status 3 times with the Expos. In his MVP season, he hit .337 with 39 home runs and scored a personal best 124 runs. The man was the first machine, even before Sportscaster revealed that Pujols was another. Not only that but Vlad only tasted playoff baseball with the Angels and the Rangers later in his career. With the Angels he played in 7 series, posting a .283 average, with 15 RBI. Sure, his playoff statistics aren’t mind-blowing but given that he only made the playoffs 6 out of his 16 years of service, his playoff numbers are bound to be askew.
Statistics aside, I personally just think it’s weird to induct a player into the Hall wearing the cap of a now defunct team. A team that has since moved from Montreal and to Washington, which Vlad never played a game. Now, some will say that matters not but this is simply my viewpoint on the matter. I don’t think that there is any doubt Vlad will be a hall of famer, in fact anyone who grew up watching baseball in the 90’s will tell you that one of their top-10 favorite players was Vlad Guerrero. Now, Vlad isn’t up for hall voting until 2017 so there is plenty of time to start a petition, or at least a few small rally’s to get Vlad to go in as a member of the Halos.