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Omar Vizquel and the Hall of Fame

Jan 27, 2012, 9:50 AM EDT

Omar Vizquel AP

Soon-to-be 45-year-old Omar Vizquel is set to play a 24th season in the bigs after recently inking a minor league deal with the Blue Jays. He’s not promised anything, but it’s likely that he’ll have a roster spot in John McDonald‘s old role. It’ll be his fourth straight season as the game’s oldest position player, and he could graduate to oldest overall for the first time if neither Jamie Moyer nor Tim Wakefield can nail down a job.

My guess is that Vizquel, by virtue of his longevity and defensive excellence, will pretty much waltz into the Hall of Fame after he finally calls it a career. Probably not on the first ballot, but likely by the third.

Still, I will take issue with it when it happens. I’m not someone who believes the Hall of Fame is only for the best of the best of the best — there should be plenty of room in there for Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and others — but I don’t like the idea of a player who was never really among the best in his league getting inducted.

And that’s my problem with Vizquel’s case. In 23 seasons, he’s been listed on an MVP ballot once: someone gave him an eighth-place vote in 1999. That was deserved: by Baseball-reference WAR, he was the AL’s fifth-best player in 1999, so there was definitely an argument for him getting a few more down-ballot votes.

But even in his best year, Vizquel wasn’t viewed as one of the AL’s top 10 players. In most years, hardly anyone would have put him in the top 20. Is that really a Hall of Famer? There’s something to be said for being very good for a long time, but was Vizquel even very good?

It’s the same sort of thing with Jack Morris. In his case, the revisionist history is even more stark. The pitcher of the 1980s?  A dominant 250-game winner? Tell me again that I had to be there to see it, because those who were there didn’t see it either.

Morris pitched in the American League for 18 years. In that time, 432 Cy Young ballots were cast. Morris claimed the top spot on three of them. 432 chances for someone watching to say he was the best pitcher in the league in a given year and only three did. And it’s not like he ever missed out because of a dominant showing by someone else: he never finished in second place in the Cy Young balloting. His top finishes were two third places, and he lost out to Rollie Fingers and LaMarr Hoyt in those years.

Vizquel’s case is different. The momentum for Morris is largely based on Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. The driving force for Vizquel will be the 11 Gold Gloves. Ozzie Smith (13) and Brooks Robinson (16) are the only infielders with more. Offensively, Vizquel matches up nicely with Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio and Rabbit Maranville. He’s a notch below Smith.

That Ozzie was seen by many as such a no-brainer helps Vizquel immensely. After all, if Ozzie is so obviously a Hall of Famer and Vizquel was only a little worse offensively and a little worse defensively, then he must make the cut, too.

But I don’t buy that. Ozzie Smith was a Hall of Famer, but when it comes to first ballot choices, he was a little more Kirby Puckett than Cal Ripken Jr. Vizquel is enough of a step below him that I don’t think he makes the cut. Of course, others may feel free to disagree.

  1. bobdira - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    OV played the most demanding position on the field, had 11 gold gloves and was a human highlight reel nightly. I would go to the Indians spring training camp just to watch him take infield practice. It was magic.

    Would like to see him in the hof, because I never saw anyone use a glove the way he could.

    • leznew2015 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:12 AM

      Omar Visquel was a better hitter statisically and made 100 fewer errors than Ozzie, enough said!

  2. mgscott - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Omar should absolutely get to the Hall.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      On what basis?

    • nategearhart - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      At his best, he was only the 4th best shortstop in his league. No thanks.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      You know what? There’s a ton of good shortstops. Whenever anyone says, “You have to see him every day to appreciate how good he is,” it’s another way of saying, “Wow! Shortstops are really great athletes.”

  3. thefalcon123 - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Smith wasn’t a little better than Vizquel, he was much better. bWar has Smith ahead of Vizquel by 22.3 WAR (14.0 oWAR, 8.3 dWAR). Their career batting lines are pretty similiar: .272/.337/.353 for Vizquel, .262/.337/.328 for Smith. Vizquel put up his batting line in the hard hitting steroid era, Smith in the much more light offensive 1980s.

    During his best five year stretch, Vizquel ranked 5th in WAR, behind Rodriguez, Garciaparra, Jeter and Larkin. During Smith’s? Well, he was first AHEAD of Ripken and Trammel from 1985-1989. He was adept at getting on base and stole a lot of bases at an excellent percentage.

    Smith was a bit better at pretty much everything. Better hitter, better fielder, better baserunner, better relative to other shortstops in his era… Add all those betters together and it’s pretty fair to have Smith in and Vizquel out of the hall.

    • baseballschematics - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      While your numbers are excellent – I don’t understand the all or nothing mentality. We only have room for one light hitting, best defensive SS in his generation in the Hall?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        I agree it shouldn’t be an all or nothing proposition, but look at his splits year by year. Only once did he ever top 4bWAR (in ’99 with 6.6). He’s the very definition of an all def, no bat player*. Should those make it into the HoF?

        *he’s played 23 seasons and accumulated 29 oWAR or roughly 1.26 oWAR/year. This is below average.

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        Because Smith crosses what my personal threshold for a hall of famer while Vizquel is pretty far south of it. Vizquel often gets compared to Ozzie, but his value was closer to that of Bert Campaneris. Good players, but not the type I would endorse for Cooperstown.

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        And again, using bWAR, Smith is a whopping 22 wins better! The difference in their career value is about a Darren Daulton.

        And Fangraphs argrees with bWAR,411

      • nategearhart - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        I think falcon’s point is that it’s simply incorrect to compare Vizquel to Smith – you should compare Vizquel to HIS contemporaries. Smith, in spite of his below-average offense, was arguably the best SS of his era – better than Ripken, better than Trammell, which merits induction. Vizquel, meanwhile, was a less-good version of Ozzie Smith in a higher-offense era that featured at least 4 better short stops. Not a HOFer.

      • rooney24 - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        Although, AT LEAST ONE of those 4 “better” shortstops used roids to put up the better offensive numbers. Can’t say anything for sure about the others ahead of him. I am not saying he is for sure a HOF guy, but it gets dicey when comparing players using just their numbers in the steroids league.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        Can’t say anything for sure about the others ahead of him. I am not saying he is for sure a HOF guy, but it gets dicey when comparing players using just their numbers in the steroids league.

        Why? Let’s have some fun with numbers courtesy of

        Vizquel – 29.0 [career]
        Rodriguez – 30.9 [years ’04 to ’07, after steroid testing was put in place]
        Rodriguez – 31.5 [since turning 30]

        If Arod had just came into the league at age 30, he’d have put up more offensive value than Vizquel in 23 years.

    • leznew2015 - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      I take it, you’ve never played the game.

      • leznew2015 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        I am replying to those that think Omar should not be voted into the hall.

  4. thetruth702 - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    HOF voters are complete idiots. Why wait till the 3rd of 4th ballot. If they have the credentials vote them the f in. alawys gotta make it a hassle. And to not vote someone in bc they are big and hit homeruns but not one ounce of evidence of steriod use and they won’t vote them in. get the hell out of here.

  5. paperlions - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Alan Trammel was a MUCH better player than Omar Vizquel.

    Lou Whittaker was a MUCH better player than Omar Vizquel.

    Rafael Palmero was a MUCH better player than Omar Vizquel.

    Vizquel was a fine player, and a good defender, but any comparison of him to Ozzie is just silly. The most assists recorded by Vizquel in a year was 475 (the only year he topped 450)….Ozzie’s career high in assists was 621, he topped 500 assists 8 times. Vizquel was no where near Ozzie’s league in terms of defense.

    Ozzie was a significantly better hitter for his era (94 wRC+ compared to 85 for Vizquel); there is simply no basis for the comparison.

  6. metalhead65 - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    hey if he gets in then you better put in Dave Concepion from the big red machine in to. he was a better player than both of them but doesn’t get any love because he didn’t do any back flips I guess. I am sure you and your saber stats will say otherwise but those who saw him play know he derves to be in it especially if you are going to let visqel in because he played a long time.

    • paperlions - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Thanks, I needed a chuckle.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      In what haze of bong smoke is Concepcion a better player than Smith?

      • aceshigh11 - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        That made me laugh out loud at my desk. Well-done.

      • cur68 - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        ‘haze of bong’ posting :) snorted coffee up my nose when I read that . . .

    • nategearhart - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      He derves to be in it!

  7. seanmk - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    simply no. his peak just isn’t very good, and his case relies solely on playing in the league for as long as he has.

  8. Francisco (FC) - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Well I’m biased. He’s one of my favorite players of all time. Certainly one of the best defensive shortstops produced by the home country. He never had much of a bat though. Does the hall have a space for outstanding gloves?

    • paperlions - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      He is actually a pretty good comp for Vizquel though….slightly better bat, slightly worse glove.

  9. sloozeronymous - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    People DO get into the HOF for being awesome at only one thing (be it hitting or fielding) as opposed to both offense and defense. You may not agree with that, but it happens.

    So for the folks saying Vizquel was only the 4th best shortstop of his era, or that his WAR doesn’t really compare to Ozzie Smith’s, you’re not finishing your argument b/c that stuff involves offense. Was he the best defensive shortstop of his era or not? How do his advanced defensive metrics compare to Smith’s? (BTW, assists sound sort of like RBIs to me.)

    Not saying you guys are wrong (I’ll always love Vizquel whether or not he’s in the HOF), I’m just saying you’re not correctly framing the issue…unless you think defense alone should not merit HOF induction, in which case, please say that first.

    • paperlions - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      …and his defense alone wan’t good enough.

    • nategearhart - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      I think defense alone does merit induction IF defense alone makes you the best at your position, like Ozzie Smith. Vizquel was better at defense than Ripken, Jeter, Garciaparra, Rodriguez, and Tejada…BUT his bad offense made him less valuable OVERALL than all those guys.

      • kjv623 - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        I think that Visquel is worth a HOF induction, no question. In my opinion Ozzie Smith made it into the hall based almost entirely on his defensive abilities (and the occasional backflip). Say what you will about different eras, Jeters and A-Rod’s aren’t on every team. Vizquel’s offensive lines are eerily similar to that of Smith’s. Defensively though, Vizquel had one error every 66 chances, while Smith had one error every 46. To say that Smith was far more superior in the field is inaccurate and having watched Vizquel make ridiculous plays at SS for the Giants while past his prime was incredible.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        To say that Smith was far more superior in the field is inaccurate

        It’s entirely accurate. The sabr method via

        Vizquel – 13.3
        Smith – 21.6

        Don’t use errors. If a person can’t reach a ball, they can’t get charged with an error. Let’s look at what they did on the field though. In 188 less games played, Smith made or contributed to an out 876 more times than Vizquel.

    • thefalcon123 - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      ….of course it involves offense. That is part of the game. If someone hit 500 home runs but dropped every single fly ball hit to him and gave those runs back with his awful defense, I wouldn’t endorse him for the hall of fame either. I’m not saying someone has to be a complete player, but you look at the sum of their value. Some people draw theirs almost entirely from offense, sum mostly from defense.

      The point is, the sum of Vizquel’s value is far below that most HOF shortstops. If given the choice of building a team, any sensible GM would choose Ripken, Jeter, Smith, Trammel in their over Vizquel. They increase the liklihood of you winning the game more than Vizquel would.

  10. thomas2727 - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Vizquel is only 26 hits behind Harold Baines as the champion of being close to 3,000 hits and not deserving a Hall of Fame induction. Baines magical number of 2,866 would be replaced by whatever Vizquel ends up with.

    Think if Vizquel eeks out another 159 hits to get to 3,000. Never mind it would have taken him 25 years. Most voters would probably rubber stamp his ballot as a Hall of Famer.

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Johnny Damon has a chance also to pass up Baines in the race for “most hits by a guy who clearly doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.” That’s admittedly a subjective criteria. Some people might say Rafael Palmeiro holds that title but it seems to me without the steroid news he would be a Hall of Fame caliber player.

  11. Chipmaker - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Defensive-dominant candidates tend to need a touch of legendry to be elected, and Vizquel surely won’t be considered based upon his offense. Ozzie had legend; so did Mazeroski, though the Series-winning HR certainly helped a lot. Omar doesn’t really have legend — he’s got the duration and the “good defense” rep and the Gold Gloves, but a few signature moments? I can’t think of any.

  12. Detroit Michael - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I’d be amazed if Vizquel was elected to the BBWAA in his third (or fewer) year on the ballot. That prediction is way out on a limb in my perception.

    Ozzie Smith was voted in by the writers, but Ashburn, Mazeroski and Schalk (other prominent glove-first Hall of Famers) were voted in by veterans committees.

  13. jwbiii - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Adult admission: $17.50.

  14. 18thstreet - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    You know what? I’ve stopped caring what the Hall of Fame voters think. The same people who, eventually, voted for Andre Dawson and Jim Rice now refuse to vote for Tim Raines. They let in Tony Perez but now reject Jeff Bagwell. Not “The Hall of Fame,” but real, regular people who voted made those decisions.

    One could visit the Sears Towers and say, “Wow! That’s tall.” And then you could visit Mt. Kilimanjaro and say, “Wow, that’s tall, but the Sears Tower was taller.” And you’d be an idiot. That’s where we are on Hall of Fame voting.

    They don’t know. And if they want to vote for Omar Vizquel instead Alan Trammel, they’ll just confirm it again.

  15. bigtrav425 - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    vizquel is a hall of famer for his defense and defense alone.while he may have never been a top 10 player,when he was with the tribe he was hands down the best defensive SS in the game.i personally thought he was a lil better then ozzie offensively.he was a pretty decent 2 hole hitter behind lofton

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Don’t you think Hall of Fame voters should examine who good a player performed in total, not just how good his #1 skill was?

  16. catsmeat - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    If Vizquel gets in on defense alone, might as well back up the truck and put Mark Belanger in the HoF, too. Someone call the Veterans Committee.

  17. kiwicricket - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    One of my favorite players of all time. Couldn’t care less about the HOF nonsense, just over the moon he is playing another season.

  18. Lucas - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    How does a post about a SS and the HOF end up having a Jack Morris rant in it? Is it really necessary to bring up Morris every time a HOF discussion is brought up? Haven’t we beat this enough in our talks about, you know, Morris’ HOF chances?

    I wanted to see Morris in the HOF. I was a kid during essentially his entire career, and I am a die-hard Tigers fan. I remember him being a GREAT pitcher at the time. However…I must admit, I can see where he’s not HOF-worthy, and that’s OK (Hall of Very Good). As much as I’d like to see another Tiger in the HOF, I don’t think he belongs.

    Now, Alan Trammell AND Lou Whitaker, on the other hand….they both belong. It’s a damn shame neither is getting enough support (and the pitiful support Whitaker got was almost criminal).

    As far as Vizquel goes…Again, I have watched him his entire career, and he’s one of those “Hall of Very Good” guys, I don’t believe he’s a HOF’er. I’m not a fan of compiling stats based on playing forever either, and you’re right-he was never really considered *the* best, or even really *one of the* best at his position (although he’s always been well-regarded defensively).

  19. brewer3 - Jan 27, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Vizquel will have better career OPSBA and RUNX2 than Smith.

  20. emeraldblade - Jan 27, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Comparing Omar and Ozzie is easy. First of all I think it is safe to say the Omar did not use PEDs. Secondly using dWar and oWar is subjective strangely enough. Does anyone understand the full formula that is used to make these “ratings”? I am guessing a handful no more. The rating is used as a measuring stick, but accounts mainly for era versus opponents of the same era. Now if the players one competed with were cheating and you were not it WILL skewer the results, no question. You must then do your actual homework and find cold facts not BCS ratings or War ratings to settle it. Here is what I have.

    Omar made an out on 91% of the plays he touched the ball on defensively, so did Ozzie. Both of which were 2% higher then average. One played in an era were 6% more balls were put in play, accounting for the difference in plays made.

    Ozzie’s Peak numbers from 1980-1992 were this averaged
    146 games, 614 PA, 532 AB, 72 runs,141 hits, 24 doubles, 3 triples, 2 homeruns, 47 RBI, 36 SB, 8 CS, 67 BB ,34 SO, BA .265, OBP, .347, SLG .332, OPS .679
    Omars peak 1995-2006
    143 games, 628 PA, 547 AB, 85 runs, 155 hits, 27 doubles, 4 triples, 6 homeruns, 54 RBI, 26 SB, 9 CS, 58 BB, 56 SO, .284 BA, .353 OBP, .380 SLG, OPS .732

    Only in perception are these players different, anyone that looks just at what they both were can see they are about as similar of players as you will ever see

  21. genericcommenter - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Tommy John pitched a long time and had some very good seasons. He didn’t come close. Though if he had 1 more decent season, he would have been automatic. One more 1987 ( 13 wins, 4.03 ERA, 63/47 K/BB in 187 IP) and he’s in, instead of topping out at 31.7%. He played until he was 46! but not a HOFer.

    Vizquel, is he HOFer now? Or does he magically become one if he manages to hang around 3 more seasons as a part-time below average batter and accumulate 159 hits?

    maybe Harold Baines should be in, too.

  22. dondbaseball - Jan 29, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    I try to be objective when it comes assessing bloggers opinions and especially so for writers on this site like Poulliot and others. 1st though, when it comes to Hall of Famers I follow the 1.5 second rule that if you have to think about longer than that they usually don’t belong. There are exceptions of course, so when I play OV out, he doesn’t have any real counting stats, he never was dominant that warrants real analysis. But let’s continue, his gold gloves are noteworthy but I also think many were not earned. He his not Ozzie Smith. Ozzie had 6 seasons in top 22 MVP considerations and 1 Silver Slugger. Plus 15 All-star appearances (4-6 probably not earned but most were), with his OPS+ of 87 vs. OV with 1 MVP consideration, zero SS, 3 all-stars and an OPS+ of 82. I still think dWAR needs major reconfiguration but using what we have- Ozzie has 64.6/43 oWAR/21.6 dWAR while OV has 42.3/29 oWAR/13.3 dWAR. So Ozzie’s offense WAR out performs OV’s total WAR. So sorry Matthew, yours was not a logical post that he will walk into the hall on the third vote. To be honest, that was as poor a perspective as I have seen here.

  23. joey15215 - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Omar Vizquel HoF worthy mentionables as Devil’s Advocate:

    Part of a solid Cleveland Indian postseason team year after year from 1995-99 and 2001. Played in two WS during that time. His defensive play would have clearly helped his team towards this postseason worthiness for 6 of 7 seasons. It’s also worth mentioning that this was from ages 28-34 for his consistency. I would also like to highlight a statistic that most people overlook when it comes to your sometimes lighter hitters, or simply in general about hitters. That is the amount of walks they have and compare that with their H+BB to OBP+SB = result of RBI+R.

    First let me note that Omar Vizquel was not given the free pass (intentional walk), but was actually pitched to. He batted against quite formidable pitching staffs, being the Red Sox, Braves, Orioles, Yankees (in their steroid era), Marlins, and Braves. I would like to note that Vizquel’s Indians did lose the 1995 pennant to a clearly non-steroid Brave’s great pitching rotation (3 likely eventual HoF players within).

    Now to my statistical point that you can’t judge a small hitter by his cover:
    Vizquel’s total postseason Dudas’ formula for batter stats from 1995-99 plus 2001 …

    H+BB to OBP+SB = result of RBI+R
    57+25 to .327+23 = 20+28

    Get over just looking at someone’s BA or being enamored with SLG and see how many times a player really got on base and what they did completely around the bases. When you do this, you see that Omar Vizquel was not only just top 5 at his defensive position, but also consistently brought something offensively to his team. Not just in the regular season, but in the postseason as well for an extended period of time.

    Take into consideration that on the overall basis, Vizquel played in the heavier SLG hitting, steroid era, but still managed to be an offensive factor. When you look from the true perspective that I devised based on the given/tracked statistics of baseball.

    Keep Omar Vizquel within his era and the multiple eras he played within, and he is overall a Hall of Fame player for not just his defensive achievements. Sure, some of those players at his position or that he batted against have championships, but many of those teams also have the stigma of steroid use attached to such championships. And longevity does count when it comes to Omar Vizquel, who is not a steroid user while not being intentionally walked, but survived into and through the steroid era to have a defensive and offensive career.

    I would love for someone to take out all of the known steroid users and see where Vizquel would have truly been ranked when it came to MVP, GG and AS votes.

    Now I submit Omar Vizquel’s Dudas’ Formula for career from 1989-2011 …

    H+BB to OBP+SB = result of RBI+R
    2841+1021(3962) to .337+401 = 944+1432(2376)
    * Note that Vizquel did not strike out a lot, which

    Vizquel will likely end up having …
    – On base over 4,000 times in his career.
    > Switch-Hitter
    > Likely end up between 16-17th all-time in singles.
    – Advanced towards becoming a Run over 400 times.
    – Been a part of over 2,400 Runs and RBI’s.
    > Made contact as a result of his AB 80.2% of the time, which highlights moving runners.
    — Whether a Hit or an Out, but put the in field of play.
    — Remaining 19.8% is either a BB or SO.
    > Currently 37th all-time in Sacrifice Hits & 51st in Sacrifice Flies.
    — 4 more SH’s will get Vizquel to a tie for 32nd all-time.

    – 11 Gold Gloves within a 14 year period
    > From ages 26-39.
    > 2nd all-time for SS.
    > Tied 8th all-time w/Keith Hernandez against all positions.
    – 3-time All-Star (during a heavy burdened steroid era).

    At this point, as far as longevity goes, Rusty Staub compares to Omar Vizquel, if both are looked at as relatively modern to each other. Staub isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but in light of the steroid era players already within or to come into the HoF ballot process, I feel Rusty Staub deserves enshrinement. It’s Gold Gloves that Staub lacks, but his offensive capabilities were clean. Almost all players around Rusty Staub and Omar Vizquel, as for longevity, are in the Hall of Fame. Those that are not either have steroids connected to them (Bonds and Palmeiro), have extra circumstances (Rose), or have yet to hit the ballot process (Biggio).

    And I don’t want to hear the longevity works against Omar Vizquel argument anymore. Concepcion didn’t play nearly as long and his equal time statistics do not compare to Omar Vizquel’s. I clearly see why Ozzie Smith would be in the HoF, but Concepcion would not. But compare the other longevity and common to Vizquel in statistics players for equal point of career… and you see that Pewee Reese, Rabbit Maranville, and Luis Aparicio are all in the Hall of Fame. Omar Vizquel is clearly between Concepcion’s and Ozzie Smith’s standards set by performance over career. As far as players that played through 44 years old: Bobby Wallace, Sam Rice, Jim O’Rourke, Carlton Fisk, and Johnny Evers are all in the Hall of Fame. Wallace, Fisk, and Evers are near precise as for BA, while Vizquel batted between roughly 2,000 to 4,000 times more.

    There are too many players that are Hall of Famers that Omar Vizquel compares to in just batting statistics for him to not be included in the Hall of Fame. And that is without going into the defensive superiority that Vizquel displayed during his career. Julio Franco’s total hits compared with his strike outs work against him, though I am engrossed in his achievements of age. Omar Vizquel is like Rusty Staub, who has hits and amount of walks combined with low strike out total, though Rusty and some of the other similar Hall of Famers have OBP higher. But when you compare to the similar Hall of Fame batters, Omar has 11 defensive Gold Gloves. And that Gold Glove total makes Omar Vizquel tied for 8th best all-time defensively speaking across all baseball positions.

    The obvious next question would be why Vazquez and not Hernandez? The roughly 800 or more Hits total difference in the end. Even though the two have the exact amount of Gold Gloves. Even with Hernandez’ two WS rings and 1979 NL MVP award. But Vizquel has 14 seasons with 120+ hits compared to Hernandez’ 10. Because longevity does count for something. Because Hernandez’ last 120+ hits effort was at 33 years old while Vizquel’s was at the age of 40 (95 hits at the age of 43).

    Sometimes you have to distinguish between two careers based on longevity over achievements based on a team effort. Hernandez has obvious team achievements and the personal awards, but he simply lacks the overall career total standard of hits for the modern era. Omar Vizquel is close to that crowning accomplishment and his offensive and defensive achievements compare to many already in the Hall of Fame.

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