This past Wednesday, Vladimir Guerrero was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame 2018 Class along with Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, and Jim Thome. Guerrero recently elected to wear the Los Angeles Angels cap on his plaque, making him the first Angels player to be inducted. However, there are many people who believe that Guerrero should be wearing a Montreal Expos cap.
— Vladimir Guerrero (@VladGuerrero27) January 25, 2018
Vladimir Guerrero had an MLB career that spanned sixteen years in which he spent his first eight with the Monreal Expos and the following six with the Los Angeles Angels. The first eight years of Guerrero’s career were his best statistical years. With the Expos, Vladimir Gurrero showed his power in greater numbers than he did with the Angels, averaging 33 home runs per year whereas he averaged only 29 per year with the Angels. Looking year by year, he also hit the most home runs with the Expos including a stretch from 1998-2000 where he hit 38, 42, and 44 home runs.
It is unrealistic to value a player based off home runs alone. His batting average with the Expos was .323 and with the Angels was .319. In fact, in the categories of on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and RBI’s, Guerrero held better numbers during his time with the Expos. However, with the Angels in 2004 Guerrero won the AL MVP award. While in an Angels uniform, Guerrero was able to compile six seasons where his numbers may not have outdone those he produced with the Expos, but they helped his team reach the postseason. Reaching the postseason was something he was never able to accomplish with the Expos.
In 2004, when he signed with the Angels and won his MVP award, he experienced something he had never experienced before, a chance at the World Series. The Angels were knocked out in the divisional round by the Boston Red Sox but over the next six years, the Angels reached the divisional round or better five times. He was able to play in five years of postseason baseball with the Angels which is most likely the reason in which he chose to wear the Angels cap in the Hall of Fame.
Analysts, fans, and players can offer up their opinion on whether Guerrero should be inducted as an Angel or Expo but ultimately the decision is left up to Guerrero himself and the Baseball Hall of Fame.