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Guerrero's Hall choice caps his career as Angel

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

ANAHEIM, Calif.--There will be a halo in the Hall.

Vladimir Guerrero said Thursday he would wear an Angels cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, becoming the first player to do so.

The Angels, founded in 1961, were one of five current major league teams without their cap on a Cooperstown plaque. The others: the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins (1993), Tampa Bay Rays (1998) and Washington Nationals (2005).

Guerrero, a nine-time All-Star, chose the Angels over the Montreal Expos. He played the first seven full seasons of his career in Montreal, where he posted better statistics than he did in his six seasons with the Angels.

However, he won his MVP award in Anaheim, where he played in the postseason five times. In his first winter as the Angels' owner, Arte Moreno signed Guerrero as part of a $144-million free-agent spending spree.

Guerrero said he made his decision in part because the Expos no longer exist.

 

"I will forever be thankful to the Expos and to the beautiful people of the city of Montreal, sad that the team does not exist any more, and in a way it made the decision a little easier," he said in a text message to the Los Angeles Times, via interpreter Jose Mota.

"But, with the Angels and how much Arte believed in me when he invested in me, the chance to win, the great memories with the playoffs, the fans, celebrating championships, that's what drove me to this decision."

Guerrero is the 11th former Angels player to be selected for the Hall of Fame; seven played three or fewer seasons with the Angels. Nolan Ryan played the longest in Anaheim -- eight years -- and the Hall identifies the Angels as Ryan's "primary team." The Angels retired Ryan's number.

However, Ryan chose to enter the Hall of Fame representing the Texas Rangers, the team with which he pitched in his final five major league seasons.

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