Omar Vizquel has an entire country behind him. The future Hall-of-Famer who won 11 Gold Gloves at shortstop was manager of the Venezuelan team in the upcoming 2017 World Baseball Classic before a dispute this week with former teammate Carlos Guillen put his standing in jeopardy.
But backing from Venezuelan players and the country’s populace has put Vizquel in a strong position. Detroit Tigers star Victor Martinez went as far as to say that he wouldn’t play in the WBC unless Vizquel was the manager.
No wonder Vizquel is so popular. He conducts himself above reproach on and off the field, and YSPN360 is proud to say that Omar Vizquel is one of its baseball coaches, providing quality professional instruction to young players worldwide.
Vizquel played a remarkable 23 years in the Major Leagues, and on May 7, 2012, he became the oldest player at age 45 to play shortstop in MLB history. Vizquel’s career began in 1989 with the Seattle Mariners, but he is perhaps best remembered as the Cleveland Indians’ shortstop from 1995-2004. He then enjoyed four seasons with the San Francisco Giants, one with the Texas Rangers and two with the Chicago White Sox before finishing with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Only two shortstops in the history of baseball – Honus Wagner and Derek Jeter – have more hits than the 2,877 amassed by Vizquel. He had more than 400 stolen bases and holds the record for sacrifice bunts in the live-ball era. As a top-of-the-order hitter, he could do it all.
And Vizquel’s greatest contributions were with his glove. His .985 career fielding percentage is the highest of all-time for a shortstop and he also played more games at shortstop than any other player in big league history. It’s no surprise that he also holds the record for turning the most double plays. He won 11 Gold Gloves, including nine in a row from 1993-2001.
Vizquel has been first base coach for the Detroit Tigers since 2014. He loves to teach the game to young players. No wonder he is so popular in his homeland of Venezuela.