Vladimir Guerrero Signs With Long Island Ducks...But Never Shows up

by Corey Mansfield

Five years ago today, Hall of Fame outfielder, Vladimir Guerrero signed with the Long Island
Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

There was just one problem, Vlad never showed up and a year later eventually retired.

At the time rumors swirled as to why Vlad was making a return to baseball. Most people said it was because he wanted to return to the majors and eventually get to 500 career home runs.

It also wasn't known why Vlad choose the Long Island Ducks. Some said it was because he had a house on Long Island while others said he had family there. Also, the Ducks were known for bringing in big name former major league players in the twilight of their careers to sell tickets including Edgardo Alfonso, John Rocker, Jose Offerman, and Carlos Baerga. However, Vlad would have been the biggest.

As the season approached fans awaited the arrival of one of the greatest baseball players in last twenty years, but he didn't show. Fans lost hope and many of them felt it was a publicity stunt to sell season tickets.

"At first we thought it was great news to have a major leaguer of his high caliber come to play for us especially with the Ducks coming off of a championship season. Then as the season went on and there was still no Vlad to be seen anywhere and our questions to the front office where answered by "we're still waiting for him to show up" we realized it was probably just a publicity stunt to draw more fans into the ballpark. It got to be such a long-standing joke throughout the season we would keep joking about that there was going to be a Vlad appearance today." said long time Ducks season ticket holder Tom Stryjewski

Ultimately, after talking to the general manager of the Long Island Duck, Mike Pfaff I was told it wasn't a publicity stunt but rather Vlad just walked away from the game to attend to family issues and watch his young son (who is now the #2 prospect in baseball) play.

Regardless of what happened, it was a great week for the fans of the Long Island Ducks and Atlantic League at the possibility being so up close and watching a legend like Guerrero.

Maybe one day he'll show up...

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