Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Tuesday night became the youngest player ever to win the Most Valuable Player award in baseball’s All-Star Game, leading the American League to a 5-2 victory over the National League at Coors Field in Denver.
Guerrero (22 years and 119 days) went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. He hit a mammoth 468-foot solo home run in the third inning and had an RBI groundout in the fifth as the American League gained its eighth straight All-Star victory.
Ken Griffey Jr. was 22 years and 236 days old when he won the MVP award in 1992.
Guerrero became the second-youngest player ever to homer in an All-Star Game. Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench, who homered in the 1969 game at the age of 21 years and 228 days, is the youngest.
“First of all, I want to thank God, I want to thank my family, my teammates,” Guerrero said through a translator after the game. “I’m really enjoying being here, and it was all great.”
The home run by Guerrero was the 200th in All-Star Game history. Babe Ruth hit the first, in 1933 at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
Guerrero also joined his father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2006), to become the third father-son duo to homer in an All-Star Game. The others are Bobby Bonds (1973) and Barry Bonds (1998, 2002), and Ken Griffey Sr. (1980) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1992).
Of that accomplishment, Guerrero Jr. said: “It means a lot to me, it means the world to me, and I just thank my dad. … Dad, this is for you.”
–Field Level Media