Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Expo-nential talent: Vlad elected to Hall

MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- One of the greatest players to ever suit up in Canada is heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Long-time Expos slugger Vladimir Guerrero was one of four players named to Cooperstown on Wednesday evening. Guerrero received 92.9 percent of the vote from eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He will be joined by Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman in the Class of 2018.

TORONTO -- One of the greatest players to ever suit up in Canada is heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Long-time Expos slugger Vladimir Guerrero was one of four players named to Cooperstown on Wednesday evening. Guerrero received 92.9 percent of the vote from eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He will be joined by Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman in the Class of 2018.

2018 Hall election results | Did You Know? | Coverage

Guerrero will be remembered most for his time in Montreal and Anaheim, but he also had a brief stint with the Blue Jays late in his career. He didn't play for Toronto at the big league level, but played for Class A Dunedin and Triple-A Las Vegas in 2012. He's also the father of Toronto's top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Video: Watch Vladimir Guerrero get the Hall of Fame call

"First of all, thrilled to be in the Hall of Fame," Guerrero said through an interpreter during an appearance on MLB Network. "There are many players who have come out of the Dominican [Republic]. To be the third Dominican [inducted], and with so many outstanding position players who have come out of there, what an honor to be the first one to make it to the Hall of Fame."

Guerrero is the only member of this year's class with ties to the Blue Jays, but he was not the only one on the ballot. Roger Clemens (57.3 percent), Fred McGriff (23.2), Jeff Kent (14.5), Scott Rolen (10.2) and Chris Carpenter (0.5) fell short of the 75 percent requirement for entry. Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer and Expos outfielder Larry Walker received 34.1 percent of the vote.

Video: Vladimir Guerrero's Hall of Fame highlights

With the election, the 42-year-old Guerrero became the youngest current Hall of Famer. He won the American League MVP Award in 2004, and was an eight-time Silver Slugger Award recipient. The nine-time All-Star hit at least .300 in 13 seasons, including 12 consecutive years from 1997-2008. Guerrero also has four seasons with at least 200 hits, 10 seasons of 100-plus RBIs and six years with 100 or more runs on his resume.

"I made it easy for my pitching coach, and the entire staff, when they wanted to talk to me about Vladdy, because I knew him better than anybody else," Guerrero's good friend and Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez told MLB Network. "I just said to the entire staff, why don't you try to walk him? Walk him. Period."

Video: Pedro Martinez congratulates Vlad Guerrero on HOF

Guerrero was the last superstar player the Expos produced before moving to Washington to become the Nationals. He spent seven seasons with the organization and for a period of time was one of the country's best-kept secrets. His natural power and uncanny ability to hit pitches well outside of the strike zone made him one of the most entertaining players to watch.

The former right fielder with a cannon for an arm remains the organization's all-time leader with a .323 batting average and .978 OPS. He had more home runs in an Expos uniform (234) than anyone else, and ranks in the top five in almost every other major statistical category.

Blue Jays fans have expectations for a similar career from his son, who signed with Toronto at the age of 16 as an international free agent. Vlad Jr. is widely considered one of the top prospects in baseball, and was recently ranked No. 4 overall and No. 1 at third base by MLB Pipeline.

Video: Hall of Fame: The legend of Vladimir Guerrero

It's almost impossible to watch Vlad Jr. and not be reminded of his father. Beyond a similar appearance, the younger Guerrero also has adopted his father's habit of not using batting gloves, and their mechanics are freakishly similar at the plate, right down to a little twitch of the bat as the pitcher goes into his windup.

"I have to wait for the moment," the younger Guerrero said earlier this week when asked about the Hall of Fame candidacy. "You never know. Anything can happen, so you wait for the moment."

Vlad Jr. doesn't have to wait any longer and neither does his father. Hall of Fame weekend is set for July 27-30 in Cooperstown.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays