Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wasn’t about to move to a new city without bringing one of his biggest supporters along for the ride.
The top Blue Jays prospect, who made his debut with the triple-A Bisons Tuesday night, brought his grandmother, Altagracia, to live with him in Buffalo.
Altagracia had lived with Guerrero’s now Hall of Fame father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., when he was a young star in Montreal, and she stayed with Guerrero Jr. through his double-A days in New Hampshire.
“If I move to China, she comes with me to China,” Guerrero quipped before the game, drawing laughter from reporters.
Altagracia cooks for her grandson, creating the Dominican dishes of his childhood, and does his laundry — “she doesn’t allow me to do it,” Guerrero said with a grin — but she also provides much-needed advice when called for.
“She’s there to support me,” said Guerrero, adding that Altagracia is a tougher critic than his father. “And every game after the game we sit down and we talk about the game.”
Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said he doesn’t mind having Altagracia around, especially if it helps Guerrero feel comfortable in his new surroundings.
“What we try to do is make sure everybody in our organization gets what’s necessary to be better everyday and if that’s what’s necessary for his situation, a 19-year-old with all this attention, I’m sure his grandmother and whoever else is here is going to help him to make that next step,” he said.
“Right now his grandmother is a big help to him and as long as she’s a big help she’s very welcome.”