Will Vlad Guerrero Jr. make the Guerreros the greatest father-son combo ever?
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is coming. In many ways he's been coming for a while now. We've already seen him electrify Montreal in a dang exhibition game, we've seen him hit an opposite field dinger off a batting tee and we've seen him build himself into the most anticipated prospect in recent history.
But now, Vlad Jr. is actually coming, as the Blue Jays announced the phenom will join this club DATE IN PLACE.
Considering the immense skill he's shown at such a young age, Vlad Jr would be an enormous deal even if his name was Vladimir Putin Jr. That his name immediately conjures up memories of his father's prodigious hall of fame career only amplifies the spotlight, the hype and the legend surrounding Vladimir Guererro Jr.
When you think about the greatest father-son combos in baseball history, a few names rise to the top. Bonds. Griffey. Alou. Alomar. In all of these cases, the son(s) entered the big leagues with a world of expectation on their shoulders, and in all of these cases they performed even better than anyone could have predicted.
Now that he's arrived on the big stage, Vlad Jr has the chance to catapult the Guerrero name onto the metaphorical Mount Rushmore of MLB father-son combos. Of course this opportunity presents itself due in part to Vlad Jr.'s incomprehensibly impressive baseball talent, but it's important to remember that a "junior" can't be a "junior" without a "senior."
Of all the dads included in the pantheon of father-son baseball combos, no one was more productive, more celebrated and more iconic than Vlad Sr.
Vlad Sr's legacy stretches far beyond his hall-of-fame-level on-field productivity: the man was also an unforgettably unique baseball icon. Sure there were nine All-Star games, 449 home runs and an AL MVP Award. But there was also the no-batting gloves, the chasing at pitches that bounced and the swing that looked like an unhinged chainsaw on the loose.
It's an understatement to say that Vlad Sr. has fulfilled his end of the father-son pairing. It's not completely preposterous to think that in time Vlad Jr could follow in the footsteps of Barry, Ken Jr, and Roberto and eclipse the accomplishments of the father. But for now, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is still Vladimir Guerrero Sr.'s son.
This summer, as Vlad Sr. awaits his Cooperstown induction in July , Vlad Jr will be embarking on his own march towards baseball history. If Vlad Jr is everything we've been promised, if he fulfills the prophecy and replicates the immeasurable feats of his father, he could make the Guerrero's the first ever father-son combo in Hall of Fame. That's not something the Bondses, the Alomars, the Alous or even the Griffeys can say.
Godspeed little Vlad. History is waiting for you. May your dingers make your dad proud.