Omar Vizquel is more than just a Cleveland Indians great, he’s arguably the greatest defensive player in the history of baseball. It’s time to respect that.
Cleveland Indians great Omar Vizquel will wait for a call to come tomorrow that probably won’t. Vizquel, despite gaining ground in the eyes of many is expected to fall short tomorrow when the 2020 MLB Hall of Fame inductees are announced. The only people who would have the audacity to say Omar Vizquel isn’t a Hall of Famer are the people who never watched him play. Those people shouldn’t be allowed to have a say in who gets elected to Cooperstown (they probably also vote for cheaters too; boo those people!).
Vizquel isn’t just the greatest defensive player in Cleveland Indians’ history. Vizquel isn’t just the greatest defensive player in American League history. Vizquel is the greatest defensive player ever, FULL STOP. I love Ozzie Smith. It’s a shame that he fell off the face of the Earth in February of 1992 but that doesn’t change the fact that Vizquel played against legitimately harder hitters in his era than Smith. You wouldn’t be off base to argue that Vizquel had less time to react to balls hit at him than Smith. Steroids didn’t just make the ball go farther, it made the ball go faster.
Vizquel was the original honey badger, however, he gave zero fracks.
He’s an 11 time Gold Glober winner, a three-time All-Star, and played until he was 45. He had a dang respectable .272 batting average while amassing 2,877 hits. If San Franciso had played him more consistently he’d of easily gotten to 3,000 career hits. If your argument is that his longevity and lack of identifiable offensive accolades is exactly why he isn’t a Hall of Famer, I beg you to remember that it took Tom Glavine until he was 41 to win his 300th game. Unlike Vizquel, Glavine never was relegated to a part-time starter either. Glavine is an absolute Hall of Famer and that’s without the 300+ wins or the two Cy Youngs.
Vizquel has the only awards he’ll ever need, those 11 Gold Gloves. He’s 7th all-time in total Gold Gloves won, and he arguably should have had three, if not four more than what he finished with. He lost to Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter from 2002 to 2004 and neither man was better than Vizquel defensively.
Vizquel played in a more offensive dominant era, with more guys cheating, and more guys scoring. He played against the most ‘roided up of players and did so with brilliance. He wasn’t the biggest, wasn’t the fastest but he was dang sure the best.
Vizquel is a Hall of Famer, no matter what the voters say tomorrow.