The Big Switch: Omar Vizquel

By on January 26, 2022


Vizquel homers in spring training. (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

Well with only one player, David Ortiz getting his 75% of the BBWAA ballots this year he along with six members via the veteran’s vote will make the trip to Cooperstown on July 24th. But there is one player whose outside influences caused him to drop appearing on only about 23% of the ballots.


The fourth all time MLB switch hitter Omar Vizquel dropped from 49% to 23% probable because of a domestic abuse problem in the recent past but personally that is not all.

You see Vizquel played his last season in the majors, 24th overall with the Toronto Blue Jays and ended up with the fourth highest total of career hits with 2,877 for a switch hitter. Unfortunately, his manager for his last season had an issue with him.

Back during spring training in 2014 Omar and I had a chat down the right field line at Tiger Stadium in Lakeland, Florida and things came out about the 2012 season and his Blue Jays manager John Farrell. Then also the fact of him lacking just four hits to pass HOF Frankie Frisch for third all-time on the major league switch hitter list to 43 all time in hits.

I was told by Vizquel that the Blue Jays called up a player who was from the Caribbean area but the player didn’t have the money to fly his family into the states for his MLB debut. Well Vizquel told me he put the money up for the family to come and see their son make his first appearance.

Vizquel then told me that Farrell found out about it and didn’t like it so the rookie’s debut was delayed until the Blue Jays moved onto another American League city. By that time the rookie’s family had already gone home.

According to Vizquel from that time on his game time was shortened and it wasn’t until as the season’s end was in sight that Farrell let him back into the lineup but it was too late.

In my opinion that really hurt Vizquel as if he had been third overall in switch hits, he probably would have made the hall.

You see the first switcher for total hits in MLB history is Pete Rose with 4,256 but he will never be in the hall.

Then there is Eddie Murray with 3,255 hits, 14th overall and second in switch hits who was elected to the hall in 2003 and Frankie Frisch 43rd overall in hits and third in switch hits elected to the hall in 1947.

In fact of the ten highest total of switch hitters in MLB history only three are not in the hall. There is of course Pete Rose, Omar Vizquel and Carlos Beltran who is not eligible to be voted in until 2023.

As a closing note here for you fans, I wish I had taped the interview with Omar in 2014, this article would have been much longer as he should have been in the hall long before 2022!

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