Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a full-time ballplayer and a part-time wingman.
Prior to the start of Saturday’s game between the Blue Jays and Angels in Dunedin, Fla., Guerrero was chopping it up with Albert Pujols, still one of baseball’s biggest names even in his later years. After the pair fist-bumped and walked away, Guerrero turned back — knowing a teammate of his would love to be introduced to the future Hall of Famer.
Guerrero pointed at Santiago Espinal and motioned him over. Pujols shook Espinal’s hand and gave him a firm pat on the shoulder. Espinal flashed an ear-to-ear smile.
The entire interaction lasted about 20 seconds, but it’s clearly an experience Espinal will never forget. Pujols, a three-time National League MVP Award winner, is one of the greatest players to represent the Dominican Republic. And Espinal, just 27 games into his MLB career, received his own special moment with his countryman.
To think, Espinal had just been called up to the Blue Jays from the alternate training site on Saturday afternoon. And by nighttime, he was shaking hands with one of baseball’s modern greats.