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Omar Vizquel passes Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list

Sep 19, 2012, 2:30 PM EST

Toronto Blue Jays Vizquel makes a diving catch against the Seattle Mariners during their MLB game in Toronto

UPDATE: Now Vizquel has doubled, passing the Bambino.

2:30 PM: Omar Vizquel singled to right in the top of the fourth of today’s Blue Jays-Yankees game.  That’s, like, 90 small steps to first for Vizquel, but one giant leap for his all-time hitting numbers: with it he tied Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list at 2,873.

Next up: Mel Ott at 2,876. Then, if he gets hot and plays a lot before the season’s over — neither of which are givens — he could get to Frankie Frisch at 2,880.

Then after that: retirement, five years of silence and then the most contentious, data-free Hall of Fame campaign since Jim Rice was inducted.

In the meantime: congratulations Omar!

  1. clevelandschronic2 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Great player hope he gets in HOF. Best defensive SS ever.

    • skipperxc - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Ozzie Smith says hi.

      • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        How about best defensive SS in the American League, ever? As someone old enough to have seen both Vizquel and Ozzie play, I can say it is really close.

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Defensive bWar:
        Smith: 43.4
        Vizquel: 28.5

        UZR:
        Smith: 239
        Vizquel: 129

        FRAA:
        Smith: 169.9
        Vizquel: 14.1

        Any way you slice it, Smith was a better fielder than Vizquel and it isn’t even close.

      • alang3131982 - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

        Also, what about Luis Aparicio — he payed predominantly in the AL….

      • nolanwiffle - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Mark Belanger would also say hello…..if he were living.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      If you mean best defensive SS ever BEHIND Osborne Earl Smith…then you “may” be on to something.

    • dnc6 - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:04 PM

      Even if he was the best defensive SS ever, should that really justify going to the Hall? Shouldn’t your all-around game be the ultimate determinant? What if Rey Ordonez somehow managed to never break his arm, and played Ozzie Smithesque defense for 10 years, while still amassing a 60 OPS+. Should we consider him?

  2. thomas2727 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Once Omar passed that magic 2,866 number his Hall of Fame ticket was punched. Or maybe it was not?

  3. ajcardsfan - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    The man has been playing in the Major Leagues for 21 years, that alone is impressive

    • dan1111 - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      That was true back in 2009.

      • ajcardsfan - Sep 19, 2012 at 5:04 PM

        You’re right that the 21 isn’t right, Rotoworld appears to be off. Baseball Reference shows him debuting in April 1989, so that would be 23. So 21 would have been true in 2010

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Now statistically proven: Omar Vizquel = Babe Ruth

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      He is a tad thinner than Ruth.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Nope. They are the same. Now the stats prove it.

        #sarcasm

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      What a bunch of nonsense.

      Ruth was fat, slow, and couldn’t field or steal a base (he *barely* was above 50% as a basestealer over the course of his career). He wasn’t much of a fielder either.

      I mean, they are obviously equal as hitter, what with the same number of hits and all. But with Vizquel’s basestealing and defense, he is obviously superior to Babe Ruth.

    • chew1985 - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Babe’s hits covered a lot more real estate, and were louder.

    • rarson - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      So I guess that means Chris Davis = Babe Ruth, since they both won a game and homered three times in a game in the same season.

  5. Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Well… if they let Luis Aparicio in, I can’t see Omar being excluded. Unless of course, you think Luis Aparicio shouldn’t have been inducted in the first place.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Aparicio probably shouldn’t be in and was better than Omar anyway.

      Luis had an identical OPS+, probably about equal on defense, lead the league in steals 9 times, stole 100 more bases with fewer times caught stealing.

      He wasn’t a lot better, but he was a bit better.

      • dan1111 - Sep 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        Aparicio is #6 all time in defensive WAR. He compiled significantly more defensive value than Vizquel, despite playing six fewer seasons (he was in the majors a mere 18 years!). I would say that, if you are going to let at least a few players in based primarily on defense, Aparicio is a good Hall choice.

        Vizquel is tied for #10 all time, mainly because of his longevity. Lots of guys behind him had nearly his defensive value over shorter time periods, but no one ever thought of them for the Hall of Fame. Then again, his longevity is an achievement in itself. I don’t think he’s quite there, but he wouldn’t be the worst choice ever.

    • flavadave10 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      Except that when Aparicio was let in, shortstops still weren’t expected to hit much. In context, Aparicio was one of the best shortstops of all time when he retired. You can’t say that for Vizquel. The position has changed drastically.

  6. proudlycanadian - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    A neat feat for a guy known for his glove rather than his hitting. Not sure if he will get enough at bats to tie Ott. He will probably sit out tonight’s game, but might play tomorrow. Hechavarria will be the prime beneficiary of Escobar’s time off.

  7. proudlycanadian - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    He just hit a RBI double to pass the Babe.

  8. jarathen - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Now all he has to do is pick up a few more Wins and he’ll pull even with Baby Ruth for good.

  9. oliverbaseball - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    11 gold gloves (2nd in history), 2974 games played (11th all time) 10574 at bats (15th all time), 12000 plates appareances (17th all time) 2874 hits (41 all time) 404 stolen bases, 2262 singles (17th all time) 8424 outs made (7 all time) 8040 assists (5th all time) 2708 defensife games SS (1st all time), Most DP as a SS (1st all time) 7675 assists SS (3rd all time) Defensive % SS (1st all time). Better offensive and deffensive numbers than Aparicio and Smith . I think that Omar deserves some respect and he is a Hall of Famer.

    • flavadave10 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Gold Gloves are meaningless. Also, Aparicio and Ozzie Smith both played either all of their career or a majority of their career during a time when shortstops were not productive offensively. I’d love to hear an argument as to how Omar Vizquel is one of the greatest shortstops of his era. Alan Trammel is more deserving than Omar Vizquel.

      • oliverbaseball - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        Omar is the greatest DEFENSIVE shortstop of his era and probably in the history of the game (see the numbers) Ozzie is better than him in assists, WAR and doing the BACKFLIP…

  10. dan1111 - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    By advanced defensive metrics, both Smith and Aparicio were better than Vizquel. Smith was also a better hitter once you adjust for era.

    I agree that Vizquel deserves respect for his impressive career, though.

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