Vlad connects on career homer No. 400
Angels slugger one of six to reach milestone and hit .320
ANAHEIM -- Vladimir Guerrero joined some elite company Monday night when he became just the sixth player in Major League history with 400 home runs and a career batting average higher than .320.
Guerrero hit two solo homers against the Rays, including the game-winner in the seventh inning, to join Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
"It's a special feeling," Guerrero said through a translator. "I never saw them play, except on video. I feel very happy to be next to those names."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was especially impressed and didn't hesitate to call the 14-year veteran a Hall of Famer.
"It's a Hall of Fame career," Scioscia said. "He's in select company with his batting average and home runs. You look at the names he's linked to, and it shows you the talent and the terrific career he's had."
Guerrero actually spent Sunday talking with family members about potentially reaching the milestone during the Angels' current six-game homestand, but apparently there was some confusion about how many homers he had in his illustrious career.
"My mother said there were two more to go, and my brother, [former Major Leaguer] Wilton [Guerrero], has bad math and thought it was one more," Guerrero said with a smile. "But I got two and made everyone happy. I'm just happy it came here in front of the fans."
In fact, Guerrero did enter the day with 398 career home runs, and he hammered No. 399 with a solo shot off Rays starter Matt Garza over the left-field fence in the second inning.
|With his 400th career home run, Vladimir Guerrero became only the sixth player in Major League history with 400 homers and a career batting average of at least .320.|
|courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau|
But Guerrero wasn't finished, as he added another solo blast in the seventh inning against Tampa Bay reliever Russ Springer for his eighth dinger of the year.
His second home run ended up being the game-winner, as it gave the Angels an 8-7. Guerrero gave an uncharacteristic fist pump as the ball hit the right-field foul pole.
"I feel very good that not only was it home run No. 400, but it came at a moment when the team really needed it," Guerrero said.
Guerrero came out of the dugout for a curtain call, much to the delight of the fans at Angel Stadium, who loudly chanted "Vladdy, Vladdy."
Guerrero became the 45th player in Major League history to reach 400 home runs, passing Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline, who both hit 399.
He also became one of nine active big leaguers with 400, joining Carlos Delgado, Jason Giambi, Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield and Jim Thome.
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.