Vladimir Guerrero to be inducted into Angels Hall of Fame
The Angels today announced Vladimir Guerrero, a member of five post-season teams for the club, will become the 15th individual inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame during pre-game ceremonies on Saturday, Aug. 26th when the Angels host the Houston Astros.
"Vlad brought a special excitement to the ballpark each and every time he stepped to the plate," said Owner Arte Moreno. "He captivated not only our fans, but those throughout baseball with his powerful swings and ability to hit to all fields on pitches in and out of the strike zone. One of the striking aspects of Vlad was the pure joy he showed while playing the game. I know he enjoyed each and every moment he put on a uniform. His contributions to this organization were a key to our success, and his Most Valuable Player Award in 2004 was one of the most memorable highlights of our history. Vlad will be joining a distinguished group in our Hall of Fame and we are looking forward to a very special evening in August," added Moreno.
Guerrero, 42, remains among the Angels all-time leaders in several key offensive categories including average (1st, .319), runs (10th, 544), hits (10th, 1,034), total bases (7th, 1,767), extra-base hits (7th, 377), doubles (8th, 194), home runs (6th, 173), RBI (6th, 616), on-base percentage (4th, .381) and slugging percentage (2nd, .526).
During his distinguished career, Guerrero played for the Montreal Expos (1996-2003), Angels (2004-2009), Rangers (2010) and Orioles (2011). He was originally signed by Montreal as an amateur free agent on March 1, 1993 and would make his Major League debut three years later on Sept. 19, 1996 vs. Atlanta. Guerrero recorded his first hit against the Braves' Steve Avery and home run against Atlanta closer Mark Wohlers.
The native of Nizao, Dominican Republic became a free-agent following the 2003 season and was signed to a multi-year contract by the Angels, whom he would play for during the next six seasons, registering a .319 average (1,034/3,237) in 846 games with 304 base on balls against only 385 strikeouts. Of those walks, 112 were intentional.
His inaugural campaign of 2004 was one of the most dominating in club annals. Guerrero led the club, and in some instances the American League in numerous offensive categories including 124 runs and 366 total bases (both club records and led AL). He finished third in the circuit with a .337 average and became the second player in club history with at least .300/30/100 numbers. He completed the season finishing in the top 10 of 20 major offensive categories. In September, he earned Player of the Month honors after hitting .371 with 24 runs, six doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 23 RBI. Guerrero was selected by his teammates as the Owner's Trophy winner and later by the BBWAA as the American League's Most Valuable Player.
A nine-time All-Star, Guerrero won the Home Run Derby during the 2007 All-Star Game, becoming the third Angel at that time to do so, joining Wally Joyner (1986) and Garrett Anderson (2003). He was an All-Star for the organization during his first four seasons. He achieved several milestones while donning an Angels uniform, including his 1,000th RBI (July 15, 2006 vs. Tampa Bay), his 400th career home run (Aug. 10, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay) and his 1,000th career hit as an Angel (Aug. 26, 2009). The latter mark made him only the fourth player ever to record at least 1,000 hits in both the American and National League. During his tenure with the Angels, Guerrero set 15 team records -- 10 career and five single-season.
Along with his MVP and All-Star honors, other awards gained during his career include the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in 2010, an eight-time Sliver Slugger recipient, a four-time Montreal Player of the Year, and four-time Angels Player of the Year as well. He finished in the Top 10 for MVP voting six times, average eight times, RBI nine times, slugging percentage 10 times and hits seven times.
Angels' fans will long remember his two-run single against Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th inning on Oct. 11, 2009 against Boston, giving the Angels a 7-6 lead and advancing the club to the ALCS. It was the first time the club had beaten the Red Sox in a post-season series following a history of frustrating series losses. The hit has often been referenced as the biggest of Guerrero's career.
Guerrero follows previous Hall of Fame inductees Bobby Grich (1988), Jim Fregosi (1989), Don Baylor (1990), Rod Carew (1991), Nolan Ryan (1992), Jimmie Reese (1995), Brian Downing (2009), Chuck Finley (2009), Gene Autry (2011), 2002 Championship team (2012), Bobby Knoop (2013), Dean Chance (2015), Mike Witt (2015),Tim Salmon (2015) and Garret Anderson (2016).
Additional details regarding the pre-game ceremony will be forthcoming.