How did Vlad get so good at being so bad? (PS: This is a happy story!)
Vlad Guerrero will forever be a Hall of Famer.
And, also, known as one of the best ‘bad ball’ hitters in MLB history.
Guerrero, elected to Cooperstown on Wednesday, was asked how he got so good at being so bad.
In the Dominican Republic, where Guerrero calls home, a poplar game among kids is called ‘La Plaquita’ , which mean’s ‘little plate’, and is the Dominicans’ version of Cricket. Participants use a broomstick, or even folded-up license plates, as bats to hit a small rubber ball, or anything which would serve the purpose.
See more in Part I of our ‘Before the Bigs’ feature on Guerrero below:
Because of the small target, and the ability to hit the ball once it’s bounced in front of the plate, allowed Guerrero to master hitting balls out of the strike zone when he advanced in his career.
“It (helped) open up my hitting zone,” said Guerrero, who over a 16-year career had 2,590 hits, 477 home runs, 477 doubles, 46 triples and 1,496 RBI.
“In order to hit the ball (in the Majors), you have to hit them on the ground.”
“I’m very proud of what I accomplished,” Guerrero added through translator, Jose Mota of FOX Sports West. “And I’m very appreciative for the four teams I played for.”
Guerrero is also the third Dominican-born player to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal, but the first position player to enter Cooperstown.
Guerrero expects more of his countrymen, like Adrian Beltre, David Ortiz and Albert Pujols, will be joining Guerrero in the Hall of Fame … sooner than later.
“I will have some company soon,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero spent 2004-09 with the Angels, winning the 2004 American League Most Valuable Player Award while leading the club to five-straight AL West division titles.
“The Angels gave me a taste of winning, immediately,” Guerrero said.