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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

NYTimes: Abuela, Chef, Boss: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s Grandmother Feeds the Majors

The brown sugar bubbled in the pan. The marinated goat meat sizzled when added. Spoonfuls of olives and capers were heaped into the mixture. Then Altagracia Alvino, who can make this dish with her eyes closed, froze.

“Did I put spice in here?” she whispered to herself in Spanish.

Alvino, 66, was careful to make as little noise as possible because it was 7:22 a.m., and her husband and her 20-year-old grandson, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., one of baseball’s brightest young stars, were asleep in their rooms of the family’s Toronto apartment. The familiar scent of cooking meat was unavoidable, though.

Silver hair in a net, Alvino leaned in to inspect the meat, decided it indeed lacked kick and reached for a package of crushed red pepper. She had plenty of time to perfect the feast of white rice, stewed beans and goat before Guerrero awakened at 11 a.m. and quickly departed for Rogers Centre, carrying bags of the food to share with both his Blue Jays teammates and their opponents.

Alvino may be the most popular and powerful grandmother in baseball. For about two decades, she has filled the bellies of hundreds of players, most of them Latin Americans far from home. Eating her comfort food is a tradition that has become especially popular among players from the family’s homeland, the Dominican Republic.

A few have come to call Alvino “abuela,” or Grandma, yet most have never met her. She was there for every step in the career of her son Vladimir Guerrero Sr., who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame last year, and now she oversees his son’s.

I knew that Vlad Sr. had lived with his mom for a long while in Montreal, but I had no clue she cooked for so much of the major leagues!

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 27, 2019 at 06:04 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: abuelas, cool and good, food, vladimir guerrero, vladimir guerrero jr.

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   1. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 27, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5874686)
I'm jealous of the Toronto players. Also, it seems like the Guerreros are related to like half the Dominican families with players in the majors via marriage!
   2. Bote Man Posted: August 27, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5874734)
I went to Puerto Rico with a buddy to visit his family and generally tour around. We stopped by la casa de abuela about 11:00 in the morning, so she made us bologna and cheese sandwiches...to tide us over while the big pot of arroz con pollo on the stove would be ready. Then she made us flan for dessert. You will NOT go hungry at abuela's house!
   3. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 27, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5874841)
When Vlad was with the Angels, you'd here stories all the time about Guerrero taking teammates home a half-dozen at a time, and his mom would somehow always manage to make too much food for everyone.
   4. phredbird Posted: August 27, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5874882)

this was a great little article. very heart warming, made me miss both my cajun grandmothers.

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