Vlad Jr.'s All-Star glove a family time capsule

July 14th, 2021

takes his family’s legacy with him wherever he goes in baseball, and in his All-Star Game debut on Tuesday night in Colorado, he wore it for all to see.

Guerrero’s glove features one of the most famous pictures of him and his father, taken late in the 2002 season at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Vladdy Jr., just 3 years old at the time, stands next to Vladdy Sr., barely coming up to his belt and wearing a matching Expos uniform with his helmet raised up in the sky to salute the crowd.

Nearly two decades later, that little kid has grown into one of baseball’s brightest stars, hitting .332 with 28 home runs and a 1.089 OPS through the first 87 games of the 2021 season. Already well on his way to one of the greatest offensive campaigns in the history of the Blue Jays, Guerrero represents Shohei Ohtani’s main competition for the American League MVP Award.

On Tuesday night, Guerrero added another accolade to his MVP campaign by becoming the youngest player in history to be named the All-Star Game MVP. Guerrero launched a 468-foot home run, longer than any of the 52 he’s hit in the big leagues, and drove in two runs.

“Dreams come true,” Guerrero said after his historic performance. “Since I was a kid, I’ve been thinking about this moment. I worked all my life, very hard. Thank god it’s happening right now.”

Guerrero said he can’t wait to get back to rejoin his teammates, because he told Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and George Springer that he would win the All-Star Game MVP Award. Those three are never far from one another in the dugout, and Gurriel and Springer told Guerrero that if he didn’t follow up on his MVP promise, don’t come back.

This performance from Vladdy Jr. also put the Guerreros in rare company as one of just three father-son duos to homer in the All-Star Game, joining the Bonds and Griffeys.

“It means a lot to me. It means the world to me,” Guerrero said on the broadcast through a translator. “I just want to thank my dad. I want to thank him. Dad, this is for you.”

This is also a changing of roles for the Guerreros on All-Star weekend.

“As a little kid, I used to love following my dad around to every All-Star Game,” said Guerrero, translated by his godfather, Pedro Martinez. “Now, it’s his turn to come along as a fan and start following me, because it’s my turn to be in the All-Star Game.”

This is just like what his father was doing back in ’02, when that photo was taken. In one of his best seasons in the Majors at age 27, Guerrero Sr. hit .336 with 39 home runs, 40 stolen bases and a 1.010 OPS. His son won't touch those stolen-base totals, but Guerrero Sr.’s career high of 44 home runs is clearly in danger later this season.

Guerrero even kept it in the Blue Jays family when it came to this special glove. It was made by Emery Glove Co., owned by brothers Kevin and Matt Schneider. Their other brother? Blue Jays Major League coach John Schneider.

The Guerrero bloodlines certainly don’t end with Vladdy Jr., either. Martinez said that Guerrero has younger cousins and brothers coming along behind him who are just as talented, and asked him for his message to the next generation in his family.

“Like every kid, they all have a dream,” Guerrero said through Martinez. “I hope that my little brothers and cousins and everybody that comes after me continue to dream, continue to work hard. Today, it’s me, but in the future it could be them. Do not stop dreaming. Keep working hard. To grandma, thank you for leading the way and keeping us on track.”

Guerrero started the 2021 All-Star Game at first base and batted second, right behind Ohtani. He’ll need eight more All-Star appearances to tie his father, who was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.