Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lives in a condo that is, for anyone else, a short walk to the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto.
Before each Blue Jays game in the city, Guerrero carries three large plastic bowls filled with his favourite food, which his grandmother Altagracia Alvino, who lives on the same floor of his building, begins preparing around 5 in the morning.
It’s often a medley of a few different vegetables and a variation of ribs, pork chops or chicken, prepared the way that only his grandmother can. And there is always rice and beans.
He carries the bowls with him to the elevator and down to his car, which he drives around the corner to the stadium parking lot, rather than strolling over on the sidewalk.
The brief car ride is a time-saving measure — a lesson learned through his three seasons playing for Canada’s only major-league baseball team.
There was a time, early in his pro career, when Guerrero thought he might be able to navigate life as one of the game’s rising stars without the crush of recognition that celebrity brings. But an impromptu trip with Blue Jays Spanish interpreter Hector Lebron and his two children to Canada’s Wonderland quickly turned into a 45-minute parade of fans behind them seeking photos and autographs before they could reach the first ride.
The same result occurred when Guerrero asked Lebron to take him to the Eaton Centre, a …….