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Not done yet: Omar Vizquel plans to play in 2011 at age 44

Aug 20, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Back in May, when he wasn’t playing much, Omar Vizquel indicated that this would likely be his final season. However, now that he’s in the White Sox’s lineup regularly and playing well, the 43-year-old infielder said yesterday that he’ll likely be back in 2011.

I think it would be sad that if at the end of the season I look back, look at my year, and say, “Man, I don’t think I can do this anymore.” Taking a look at the numbers and the things that I have done this year, it will give me a good possibility to come back next year and try and see if a team is interested in wanting me again.

Everybody knows the things I’m capable of doing. I think I prepare every year to do this, to stay healthy, stay in shape, try and keep my body up for the challenge. I feel pretty good and I like the way things are going right now.

Vizquel has barely played shortstop this season because of Alexei Ramirez’s presence, but he’s started 48 times at third base while hitting .303/.370/.357 with very good defense and is batting .289/.352/.345 in 265 plate appearances overall.

While that production certainly isn’t jaw-dropping it’s definitely good enough to earn him another part-time job next season and is pretty remarkable for a 43-year-old. In fact, simply by playing regularly Vizquel joins Carl Yastrzemski, Pete Rose, Carlton Fisk, Honus Wagner, and Julio Franco as the only 43-year-olds in baseball history to get at least 250 plate appearances.

  1. BC - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Rickey Henderson I think also got 250 plate appearances at that age.

  2. Steve-0 - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    222 PA. Close but not quite.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Rickey got 222 at 43 and 84 at 44. Still good for a 43 year old. .401 career obp with a .279 BA. Incredible. Dude was a walking machine.

  4. BC - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Besides the 130 stolen bases, which is ridiculous, there are two other Rickey years which are just never going to be duplicated:
    1985: 146 runs scored in 143 games. Are you kidding?
    1998: Stealing 66 bases at age 40. And then 30 for the next 3 years after that.
    Crazy stuff.

  5. Chipmaker - Aug 20, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    A player staying productive into his mid 40s? Shouldn’t the steroids evangelists be screaming by now? Oh, he doesn’t hit home runs… never mind.

  6. RichardInBigD - Aug 20, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Actually, he holds the record for most 1st inning HRs by a leadoff hitter. Believe it’s something like 38… So yeah, check the roids!

  7. BC - Aug 20, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    This is actually scary. He hit 81 leadoff homeruns. Out of 297 for his career.

  8. Marty Winn - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    81 leadoff HRs out of 297 is not particularly surprising. He always batted lead off. That’s a 1:3.66 ratio. How many plate appearances did he average per start? Probably a bit north of 4. This is well withing statistically fluctuation. Or maybe you just mean that is a lot of HRs for a lead off hitter. In that case I agree but the percentage of 1st inning HRs itself is no big deal.

  9. daveh - Aug 22, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    OK, I’ll scream: “HGH!” Happy? And you really may want to take a gander at his 2002 stats.

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