Former Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel once looked like he’d defy the odds and earn induction into the Baseball HOF.
He amassed 2,877 hits, but if Vizquel was to get a plaque in Cooperstown’s hallowed hall, it was going to be because of defense. The debate over his worthiness was a popular one the last few years that could get both those in favor of him, and his detractors, pretty worked up.
Now, the issue’s almost moot.
With the 2022 vote currently ongoing, Vizquel is falling further and further away from the 75 percent of votes needed from the Baseball Writers Association of America for induction. He currently has 10.4 percent of the vote, a 38.7 percent drop from his total of 49.1 percent received in 2021.
His first year on the ballot (2018) saw him garner 37 percent of the vote. Year two, his number jumped to 42.8 percent. And in year three, in 2020, he was at 52.8 percent. He was trending in the right direction and induction seemed like a real possibility.
While some may be attributing the decline to the debate surrounding Vizquel’s statistics, it’s pretty obvious why Vizquel has fallen out of favor with voters.
Baseball HOF vote fallout coincides with legal issues
The one-time great has been in the news for all the wrong reasons the past 12 to 13 months. There were domestic abuse allegations made against Vizquel in December 2020. The story, heavily reported by The Athletic, probably cut into his 2021 vote total.
Just this past summer, a former Birmingham Barons bat boy sued Vizquel over alleged sexual harassment.
Vizquel recently pointed out that the domestic abuse allegations were “disregarded by the judge due to a lack of evidence” via a social media post made earlier this week.
Looking back at those mid-1990s Tribe, it’s crazy to see that only Jim Thome earned enshrinement into the HOF. Albert Belle would’ve been there, had it not been for a hip injury. Positive steroid tests are keeping Manny Ramirez out, even though no one seems to care David Ortiz tested positive at one point, as well.
Perhaps Kenny Lofton remains the best shot from those team, although if he gets in, it’ll be through the veteran committee. Lofton incredibly was on the ballot for just one season and failed to get the 5 percent of the vote needed to remain on the ballot. A lot of writers got that one wrong.
Lofton’s next shot comes in December of 2022, when the The Today’s Game committee convenes for a discussion of players eligible to be inducted in 2023.