We come to a former Blue Jays player again. Well, a sort of former Jay. He played 60 games for us. If is Omar Vizquel’s seventh time on the ballot.
He dropped to 19.5% last year after hitting a high of 52.6% in 2020. You see few drop that much from year to year. Some writers were tired of the rest of us making fun of their votes. Of course, the domestic violence stuff came out before that vote, so that played a major part in the drop.
Omar played his last MLB season for us. He was 45 in 2012 and played 60 games in Blue Jays colours, hitting .235/.265/.281 in 163 PA. I have no idea what Alex thought when he signed him. Alex seemed to think the team needed ‘veteran presents’ during that time. We went through a few of them over the years.
Omar played 24 seasons in the MLB. First, he came up with the Mariners and played six seasons with them, then 11 with Cleveland, four with the Giants, one with the Rangers, two with the White Sox, and the last with us.
He hit .272/.336/.352 with 404 steals in 2968 games. He made 3 All-Star teams. He got MVP votes once, but his supporters will point to his 11 Gold Gloves as the reason for him to go to the Hall of Fame.
Omar has a 45.3 bWAR. But it is his 28.4 defensive WAR (10th all-time) that we will buy him votes.
I guess we can pretty positively state that he didn’t take PEDs. Or at least we don’t care if he did.
The Writers voted other shortstops in because of their defense. Luis Aparicio comes to mind (his stats are here), but then Luis made 13 All-Star teams and was considered the best shortstop of his era. Ozzie Smith was the best defensive player I ever saw (stats here), but he made 15 All-Star teams, and we also thought of him as the best shortstop of his era. I don’t think anyone ever thought of Vizquel that way.
The stories of allegations of domestic abuse cost him votes. Part of his appeal was his ‘good guy’ reputation. And there is the bat boy, who sued him for sexual harassment. Character issues are hard to quantify. Many in the Hall have ‘character issues’, but that doesn’t mean we must turn a blind eye to this stuff.
Anyone who plays 24 seasons is a good player. But not everyone who plays 24 seasons deserves to go to the Hall.
His career stats are here.
Would you vote Omar Vizquel into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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