Who is the best Blue Jays dad?

If you go onto the Toronto Blue gift shop website you can buy a snazzy ‘# 1 Dad’ t-shirt jersey (for only $31.99 Canadian). Anyone is allowed to buy this t-shirt and you do not have to provide any empirical evidence as to why you are deserve the title of “Toronto Blue Jays #1.”

But if the title of ‘Number 1 Blue Jays baseball dad’ was put to a statistical test there would an intense battle between the father of three of Toronto’s young stars. Here is definitive look at who is the #1 Blue Jays dad between Vladimir Guerrero Jr.‘s dad (Vladimir Guerrero Sr.), Cavan Biggio‘s dad (Craig Biggio), and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.s dad (Lourdes Gurriel Sr.).

THE COMPETITORS 

All three are offensive legends in their own right – Guerrero and Biggio are enshrined in Cooperstown and Gurriel has a jaw dropping Cuban and international stat line/resumé.

CRAIG BIGGIO: Cavan’s dad played his entire 20-year career with the Houston Astros and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 (his third year on the ballot). Craig was a 7-time all star, 5-time Silver Slugger, 4-time Gold Glover and had his number seven retired by the Astros in 2008.

On July 28, 2007 Biggio became only the 27th player in MLB history to join the 3,000 Hit Club and he currently stands 24th on the MLB hit list. Over his career he was a .281, with a .363 OBP, 668 doubles, 291 home runs, and 414 stolen bases.

Craig started his MLB career as a catcher and made the All Star team in 1991, but was than transferred to second base.

“Moving from catcher to second, I can’t explain to you how hard that was,” Biggio back in 2003. “That’s like giving you a bat and telling you to go get a hit off Randy Johnson. Not just stand in there, but get a hit off him.

“Now that it’s over, I can tell you that it was pretty hard.”

The 1987 first-round pick made the transition look easy as he went on to win all four of his Golden Gloves and second.

Biggio was a part of many great Astros teams and was part of the legendary ‘Killer B’s’ in Houston.

Bonus dad points: He said that, “Being a a parent and a dad is the most important thing I’ll do.” And in his Hall of Fame speech he gushed about his three children Cavan, Conor, and Quinn.

VLADIMIR GUERRERO 

Unlike his son, Guerrero Sr. entered professional baseball as a pretty raw and unknown commodity.

Guerrero is one of the ultimate rags to riches story. Like many Dominican players, he went from living in immense poverty (being forced to drop out of school by fifth grade to help his family) to becoming one of the most iconic hitters in MLB history.

The Expos great was a career .318 hitter, with a .379 OBP, 449 home runs, and 181 stolen bases. He was a 9-time all star, 8-time Silver slugger, and won the 2004 AL MVP. Guerrero was selected for the Hall of Fame in 2018 with 92.9% of the vote, in his second year on the ballot.

The Dominican slugger will likely be best remembered for his rocket of an arm, as well as his astonishing ability to hit outside of the zone pitches. Guerrero Sr. was certainly a free swinger, but he kept his on base percentage high and his strikeout totals low (never struck out more than 100 times in a single season).

Bonus dad points: 

Guerrero narrated this touching video tribute to his son when he arrived in the Major Leagues with the Blue Jays:

LOURDES GURRIEL 

Unlike the above mentioned fathers, Gurriel Sr. is not a household name to most MLB fans. But on his home island of Cuba he is a baseball legend.

Over a 20-year career in the Cuban National Series (the Cuban baseball league), Gurriel hit .323, with 247 home runs, and earned Rookie of the Year honours (1976-77) and MVP honours (1993-94).

Unlike Guerrero and Biggio, Gurriel has a whole bunch of winning on his resumé.  During his career representing Cuba on the international stage, he won an Olympic Gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games, 6 Golds at the Baseball World Cup, 7 Golds and 1 Silver at the Intercontinental Cup, and 4 Golds at the Pan American Games.

Unfortunately all these stats have to be taken with a grain of salt because Gurriel Sr. never played in the MLB. The Cold War prevented many great ball players from competing at the highest level but one can only imagine what a star Gurriel could have been in the Majors.

Bonus dad points: Gurriel Sr. did not just pass along his genes, he also managed all three of his sons in the Cuban League. He also follows up with his two MLB sons (Yuli Gurriel of the Astros and Lourdes) after every game to offer tips and advise.

THE WINNER: Vladimir Guerrero the First

Biggio’s 3,000 hits and defensive prowess and Gurriel’s international stardom are impressive, but I believe Guerro wins the #1 Blue Jays Dad T-Shirt title.

His average, OBP, and home runs are all well ahead of Biggio and despite Gurriel having a slightly better average, Guerrero should get the edge because he hit against the best pitchers in the world.

There is no wrong answer here. All three of these dads are stars in their own right and comparing the three may be an apple and oranges situation. Talking about apples, current Blue Jays fans will keep their fingers cross that these apples (Cavan, Vladimir, and Lourdes) will not fall far from the legendary baseball tree.

(Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP).

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A graduate of Centennial's Sport Journalism program. Grew up a Montreal Expos fan but now focus on my hometown Blue Jays. Have been blogging about the Jays and Canadian Baseball since 2015.

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