Of all the reasons to love Vladimir Guerrero — the smile, the arm, the fearless swing — there’s one reason that’s a bit more untold. It may not be part of his Hall of Fame speech this weekend in Cooperstown, but it’s something that lives on with the people with whom Guerrero shared a clubhouse during his 16-year MLB career.
It’s the food.
When Vladimir Guerrero was on your team, it meant Mama Vlad was feeding your team. Make no mistake, this was a very good thing.
“You come out of BP, you’re running up there to see Mama cooked,” says Tim Salmon, Guerrero’s former Angels teammate. “It was amazing. I walked away loving Dominican food.”
On this week’s installment of the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast, we talked with Salmon, himself a 14-year big leaguers, about this year’s Hall of Fame class. Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome will be enshrined Sunday. Salmon’s career overlapped with all of them, so Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown picked his brain about this year’s class.
You can find our entire podcast and interview with Salmon by clicking over to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Acast. In the show, we also discuss the MLB trade deadline, the Josh Hader controversy and whether you can make Mike Trout more marketable.
On the subject of Vlad — with whom Salmon played with for three seasons — Salmon shared many stories, but says he’s still dreaming about the food. In Vlad’s heyday, players all around the league knew about his mother’s cooking — especially the Dominican players. Altagracia Alvino would cook enough food for Vlad to bring to the ballpark and even feed the opposing team.
“To this day,” Salmon said, “there’s one dish she makes, I have no idea what the name is, but I dream about it.”
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