Celebrate Vladimir Guerrero's birthday with the seven best throws of his career
To watch Vladimir Guerrero play baseball was to be in constant anticipation of seeing him do something you'd never seen before and that no one else in the game could do. He might hit a pitch in the dirt. He might hit a ball into low orbit. Or, just maybe, he might throw the baseball harder than you thought a human could throw a baseball.
Guerrero turned every ball to right field into a potential highlight -- and so, on the occasion of his 43rd birthday, let's throw Vlad a party by counting down the seven best throws of his storied career.
7. Throwing out the first pitch to his son
OK, this one technically came after Guerrero's career was already over. But still: It was pretty cool to see him throw out the first pitch to son Vlad Jr., MLB Pipeline's No. 3 overall prospect.
6. April 16, 2008; runner: Alex Gordon
Gordon is a pretty fast guy -- a five-time Gold Glove Award winner who played third base before he became one of the best left fielders in baseball. Now watch Vlad throw him out at second base without even getting his feet set:
5. April 26, 2006; runner: Magglio Ordonez
Not even reaching base safely allowed baserunners to breathe easy -- always make sure to keep your eye on the outfield:
4. 2004; runner: the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium
We're not sure exactly when this took place -- the Angels played six games in the Bronx that year, three of which were matinees, so there are a few options. What we do know is that Vlad likely locked up his 2004 AL MVP Award right then and there:
3. June 19, 2001; runner: Benny Agbayani
You'd think that, by 2001, runners would have learned not to try to go first to third on a single to right field while Vlad was watching. But, well:
2. June 3, 1997; runner: Todd Hundley
Remember that Yoenis Cespedes throw? The one where he went from the warning track to home plate nearly on the fly? Vlad did it first:
1. July 7, 2001; runner: Alberto Castillo
This is Guerrero's most iconic throw, and possibly the most iconic moment of his Hall of Fame career. Flat-footed, on the fly:
Happy 43rd birthday to Vlad! Now that he's retired from baseball and enshrined in the Hall of Fame, baserunners can move a little more freely on the basepaths.