According to ESPN.com, Vladimir Guerrero has signed a one-year contract with the Independent League Long Island Ducks. The signing coincides with Guerrero’s age-encumbered attempt at a comeback and to reach the coveted 500-home run milestone — he’s currently stuck at 449.
Guerrero, 38, and of the Dominican Republic, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2011, when he played 145 games with the Baltimore Orioles and batted .290 with 13 home runs. He played in high-A Dunedin and AAA Las Vegas in the Toronto Blue Jays system last year, and batted a respectable .345 — albeit a small sample — but ended his time with the team after only 12 games.
The swing-at-anything hitter is a mile-long shot to actually catch on with a Major League organization (unless the Yankees continue their buy-up-all-the-old-guys thing), and is an even longer shot to actually hit 51 more home runs in his career — if you wanted to count his last 51 MLB homers, you’d be counting back as far as 2009.
I do like the candor from Guerrero, though. According to ESPN, in a statement Vlad said, “My ultimate goal is to make it back to the major leagues and attempt to reach 500 home runs as soon as possible.” Most guys would sweeten and fluff-up their comeback attempt as some sort of drive to win the World Series. Unfortunately, he’d never stay on a 25-man roster long enough to win one.
The attempted comeback does stir a few good memories, though. Remember those days when he’d pull a ball off the dirt for a 425-foot home runs over the left field fence and the pitcher would kind of accept it as something that only happens when Vlad is up? Sweet nostalgia.