Vlad among four elected to Hall of Fame

Slugger established himself as a star with the Expos

January 24th, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Another member of Nationals franchise history will join the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer when Vladimir Guerrero is inducted in Cooperstown. Guerrero spent the first eight years of his career with the Montreal Expos, during which he formed his reputation as a free-swinging slugger with a powerful arm and a passion for baseball.
In his second year on the ballot, Guerrero received 92.9 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America and joins a class of four players who will be enshrined in July; the others are Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome.
Complete voting results
Guerrero becomes the third Dominican player to make the Baseball Hall of Fame, joining Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez. The Expos signed Guerrero as an amateur free agent out of high school in the Dominican Republic, and he advanced to the Majors, showing off his aggressive approach and style in Montreal.

It was in Montreal that he began mesmerizing fans by putting pitches in play that were clearly out of the strike zone and launching the ball from the outfield, often flat-footed, to throw out runners trying to advance bases. In his eight years in Montreal, Guerrero batted .323/.390/.588, owns the seventh-highest WAR in franchise history and set Expos records in batting average, home runs, slugging and OPS.
Guerrero made nine All-Star Games in his career and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 2004 with the Angels.
It's the second consecutive year a player with Expos ties will make it to Cooperstown, after Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted in 2017.

Another former Expos player, Larry Walker, finished with 34.1 percent of the vote in his eighth year of eligibility. It's another bump on the ballot for Walker, who increased from 21.9 percent in '17, so he still has some ground to make up in his final years on the ballot.
Walker began his career in Montreal and spent the first six years establishing himself as the punishing hitter he would become. In six seasons with the Expos, Walker hit .281/.357/.483 with an .839 OPS and 99 home runs. He was named to his first All-Star Game with the Expos, won a pair of Gold Glove Awards and a Silver Slugger Award. Walker was also a crucial member of the contending Expos teams in 1993 and '94, although the latter never got a chance at the World Series because of the strike.
Last year, Rodriguez became the first player to have played on the Nationals -- who just completed their 13th season -- to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, Washington is still searching for the first inductee wearing a Nationals cap on his plaque.

The most prominent Nationals player on the ballot this year was Livan Hernandez, who started and won the first game in Washington, D.C., since 1971. Hernandez received one vote (0.2 percent) in his debut on the ballot, well short of the five percent required to remain under consideration.
Complete Hall of Fame coverage
Hernandez had only a slim chance of being elected, considering his career 4.44 ERA, 95 ERA+ and 34 1/2 Wins Above Replacement, but he still had a strong career. He developed a reputation as a workhorse and both of his All-Star appearances came with this organization -- the Expos in 2004 and Nats in '05. On April 14, 2005, Hernandez tossed 8 1/3 innings in a 5-3 Nationals victory over the D-backs at RFK Stadium, in the first home game since the team returned to Washington. He made 35 starts and led the Majors in innings pitched in '05.
Hernandez returned to Washington for a second stint in 2009-11, which included an Opening Day start in '11, his fourth for the franchise. He served as a guest instructor for the Nationals during Spring Training last season.