Flashback Friday: Omar Vizquel's Cleveland Legacy
For this week’s Flashback Friday we are taking a look at perhaps one of the greatest Cleveland Indians on the defensive side. 11 time Gold-Glove winner, 3 time all star, starting shortstop on the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame team…
That’s right. It’s Omar Vizquel!
Before going into the statistical analysis of Vizquel I have to say that Omar is perhaps my favorite defensive player in MLB history, the quickness of his hands, his footwork, the fact that he made only 100 errors total across 11 seasons in Cleveland. Even now at age 54 you can see videos come out at least once a year of Omar seemingly magically transferring the ball from the glove to his hands.
Omar's Gold Gloves
Continuing with the defensive prowess aspect of Omar’s game he won the Gold Glove an amazing EIGHT STRAIGHT TIMES, let that just soak in for a second.
That means he was the best shortstop in the American League for eight straight years, most players never even accrue one Gold Glove let alone eight and they certainly don’t do it in consecutive years. For context the shortstop with the most Gold Gloves all time is The Wizard Ozzie Smith with 13, and the active player with the most is Andrelton Simmons with four.
Omar's Underrated Bat
Now for a moment let’s switch to the offensive side of the ball where in my opinion Omar is most underrated. Over a 24-year career which in and of itself is amazing that Omar was able to play at a Major League level until he was 45, Vizquel’s slashline is .272/.336./688. This includes a four year stretch where Omar hit at least .280 from 1996-2000.
Beyond just the statistics though Omar was a huge part of the late 90’s teams such as the teams that had the 455 game sellout streak and teams that made deep runs to the World Series in 1995 and in 1997.
There is no doubt in my mind that Omar is one of the names being floated as a potential manager replacement for Tito given his coaching experience post-retirement as well.
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