Omar Vizquel was the glue on the Cleveland Indians teams that christened then Jacobs Field when the city of Cleveland was desperate to have something to cheer for after the Cleveland Browns left Cleveland in 1995.
The Indians won six division titles in a seven-year span and two pennants while averaging 93 wins a season.
All Tribe fans remember the highlight defensive plays from Vizquel who made them look so easy.
He was the game’s premier defender at shortstop during his prime.
His hardware justifies that with him winning 11 Gold Gloves in his career including winning nine straight Gold Gloves from 1993-2001.
That total is more than any other shortstop besides Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, who won 13.
Additionally, he finished his career with a .9847 fielding percentage which is the best for ALL MLB shortstops (min. 1,000 games).
Besides his fielding prowess, Vizquel should also be recognized for his longevity and durability.
He played for 24 seasons and ranks 12th all-time with 2,968 games played. He has played more games at shortstop than any other player in the history of baseball.
Furthermore, Vizquel has turned 1,744 career double plays in his career, which is the most for a shortstop all-time.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Vizquel’s offensive game was his plate discipline. Over his 24year career, he struck out only 1.087 times out of 12, 013 plate appearances. Even more impressive, he walked 1,028 times, only 59 times less than he struck out!
Omar was never known as a good hitter however, he was always a solid top-of-the-lineup hitter. With 256 sacrifice hits (bunts) and 94 sacrifice flies, he has the most combined sacrifices (350) since 1954, the first year Baseball Reference measured sacrifices.