Remembering the time that Omar Vizquel tracked anacondas in Venezuela
As one of the game's premier shortstops, Omar Vizquel was known for great range and soft hands. But did you realize that he also used those skills to track anacondas? And no, it wasn't while making a cameo appearance in Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube's smash hit "Anaconda."
Before the 2009 season, Vizquel ventured into the wilderness in his native Venezuela and went searching for the breed of snake that can grow more than 29 feet long and weight 550 pounds.
As the Los Angeles Times wrote:
"Vizquel's guide stepped into shallow water, grabbed the anaconda by the tail and pulled it onto dry land. Vizquel eventually held the head of the snake, its mouth opened wide and its body coiling....
'I was a little scared,' Vizquel said. 'Those snakes can eat an alligator.'"
Fortunately, the one they found this day was a baby that weighed only 80-90 pounds. Vizquel then released the baby, which was probably a good idea considering the wrath he would have incurred had the mother caught wind.
Oddly enough, Vizquel isn't the only player on the Hall of Fame ballot with an anaconda story. Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay once saved a man from an anaconda attack during the offseason.