Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Triple-Crown contender Vladimir Guerrero Jr. writes 'Dios' in dirt, leads Blue Jays' late playoff push

A late-season surge led by emerging superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has propelled the Toronto Blue Jays squarely into the wild-card race in the American League. The team is 13-2 in the month of September following a 6-3 win Wednesday to clinch a series victory against the AL-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

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Guerrero doubled twice and scored two runs in the game. He has played in all 15 contests this month and is hitting .355 with six home runs and seven RBIs since the calendar turned to September.

With the regular season winding down, the 22-year-old is still in contention for the Triple Crown. His .317 batting average and 45 home runs are tops in the AL. Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez are just one longball behind.

Guerrero is currently tied for third in RBIs with 103, seven behind Perez. If he were to pull it off, Guerrero would join Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera as the only players to accomplish the feat since 1967.

Throughout his rise to stardom, Guerrero has consistently given thanks and glory to God. In fact, according to ESPN.com, every time he steps to the plate, Guerrero writes “DIOS” in the dirt, which is the Spanish word for “God.”

Furthermore, Guerrero’s Instagram posts often feature Bible verses and his bio begins with the words “God first.” Recent posts include mentions of Romans 2:6, which says, “God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done,’” and Matthew 21:22, which says, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

 

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A post shared by VLADIMIR GUERRERO JR (@vladdyjr27)

 

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A post shared by VLADIMIR GUERRERO JR (@vladdyjr27)

Guerrero also gave thanks to God on Instagram after being named MVP of the All-Star Game in July.

“Thank you my God, you are the owner of my dream career, so all the time I am on my knee before you,” he wrote (translated from Spanish). “Thank you for all your blessings, you are the MVP, my God thank you, thank you my lord, a dream fulfilled.”

 

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He became the youngest player ever to earn the All-Star honor and he hit a 468-foot home run in the game.

“Dreams come true,” Guerrero said afterward. “Since I was a kid I’ve always been thinking about this moment. I’ve worked all my life, very hard, and thank God it’s happening now.”

Toronto is in an extremely tight battle with two division rivals — the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox — for the two wild-card spots in the AL. The Blue Jays and Yankees own identical 82-64 records while the Red Sox are 83-65.

Seven of the Blue Jays’ next 10 games are against the Minnesota Twins (64-83), starting with a three-game series in Toronto on Friday night. The Blue Jays then travel to Tampa Bay and Minnesota before hosting the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles in their final two series of the regular season.

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