Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stole the spotlight at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night and treated it like a one-man show on Broadway. It was Reggie Jackson’s 44th birthday, hitting a home against the White Sox and then getting fans to flood the field with some of the Reggie bars that had been handed out that night by Standard Brands, which showed that it had been mindful when Reggie said. that if he played in New York, they would name a candy bar after him. And they did.
This was six months after Reggie had the most famous three home game in baseball history. In just three strokes in Match 6 of the 1977 World Series, he became Mr. October for all time. Now here was this talented kid, Vlad Jr., who hit three against the Yankees, the last two after he was impaled on the right hand at a game at first base and demanded a bandage to close a tear.
It all happened at the new stadium, in the first week of a new baseball season, when Yankees fans got to see what Guerrero could do in front of them, at the venue.
“It was a true New York moment,” Reggie said the next morning. “There’s just an added value when you have a night in New York like he did. Now do not get me wrong: People would have sat up and noticed wherever he hit three last night. It’s just different, when you do it in New York. And believe me, no one knows better than I do. “
“Now the younger people might have to go back and look up what I’re referring to here,” he said. “But it’s like when The Beatles made their first appearance in New York on the old ‘Ed Sullivan Show’. Of course, people already knew about The Beatles at that time. They were already a hit. But then they came to New York. last night’s baseball, Vlad was just like The Beatles who came to town at the time. “
Two homeruns after Guerrero got nailed, you thought he might be leaving the fight when he went to the Blue Jays’ dugout. The first two were hit by Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ ace. There are other exciting fluctuations in the game. Of course, Shohei Ohtani comes to mind. There is no more exciting swing, no more exciting percussion than when Guerrero stands at the plate and carries a Hall of Fame name on in baseball every time he steps onto the plate.
“His father was one of those guys, just like the son is,” Jackson said. “Their only real competition is the mirror. Can you imagine how much bigger his father would have been if he had played any of his best age in New York City at all?”
So, when he ended the call, Mr. October online because he guessed that Vlad Jr.’s father – “Who swung at. everything“said Jackson – had a career average of 0.311. It turned out to be 0.318.
“And he did not hit below 0.300 until the end of his career, and even then the lowest he went was 0.290,” Jackson said. “I think if he had played on bigger stages, he would have been considered having the quality of [Roberto] Clemente. And no matter how great Clemente was, he did not have the numbers of power that Vlad Sr. had. had.”
Jackson then asked what Vlad Jr.’s stroke average had been last season. I told him .311.
“I knew one of them was a .311,” Jackson said.
Then we talked again about the night when there were Reggie Bars on the field at the old Stadium, after a shot to the right in the middle, a crack ball from Wilbur Wood that did not knead, not unlike the one Charlie Hough had thrown him into. Game 6 of the 1977 series that night Reggie beat his three.
I asked him if he had been aware that it was the Reggie Bar anniversary.
“I did not know it until I read it somewhere,” he said. “Maybe Twitter.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s father played the first full seven seasons of his remarkable baseball career in Canada with the Montreal Expos. Now his son, playing on what may prove to be the best team in the American league and perhaps the best in baseball when it’s all over, has begun his own theater career in Canada with the Blue Jays.
With such high expectations for him after the year he had in 2021 (48 homers, 111 RBIs, 0.311 on average), with such high expectations for the Blue Jays, he comes out of the blocks with four homers and eight RBIs in his first six games. When he went into Thursday’s game against the Yankees, he hit .391. Then he had that kind of night against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
“You saw what happened last night,” Reggie said, “the scope of doing what he did and doing it there.”
“People talk about Reggie Bar,” he said. “Three home runs for the kid. In Yankee Stadium. Maybe it was karma.”
Maybe if this boy played where Reggie played, they might name a candy bar after him.