SAN DIEGO -- At his formal introduction Monday as manager of the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican Baseball League, Omar Vizquel talked about his Hall of Fame chances this year, his third on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.
“I’m pretty calm about it and not thinking about the Hall of Fame,” said the former shortstop a day after Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons were elected by the Modern Era Committee. “There are a lot of comparisons of my game with that of others that are in the Hall and those who aren’t. Right now, there’s a new mentality and some voters think about their ballots differently.”
According to Baseball Hall of Fame Tracker, Vizquel has appeared on 50 percent of the 18 public ballots revealed. In his first year of eligibility, he received 36.9 percent of the Hall of Fame vote, and 42.8 percent last year.
“I’m very happy that each year I seem to be moving up little by little,” said Vizquel, who enjoyed a 24-year big league career from 1989 to 2012 with the Mariners, Indians, Giants, Rangers, White Sox and Blue Jays. “Let’s hope this year is better than last year.”
Vizquel’s case for the Hall of Fame includes his 2,709 games played at shortstop, the most all time, his 2,877 hits (fifth all time for a shortstop, behind Derek Jeter, Honus Wagner, Robin Yount and Cal Ripken Jr.), 951 RBIs and 404 stolen bases.
Known as one of the finest fielding shortstops in Major League history, he won 11 Gold Gloves and is the all-time leader in double-plays turned at the position with 1,734, finishing his career with a defensive WAR of 29.5.
After this year, Vizquel will have seven more potential tries on the BBWAA ballot.
“I’m not thinking about the votes, who voted for me and who didn’t,” Vizquel said. “I just have to keep waiting to see if that moment will come or not. But I am glad that every time you see the votes revealed, they’re going up and not down. That’s important. I think the longer you’re on the ballot and the more [the voters] know a little more about you and your game, the better your possibilities are for the Hall of Fame.”
The 2019-20 BBWAA Hall of Fame voting results will be announced on Jan. 21.