Venezuela’s Omar Vizquel, a fixture of Major League Baseball for the last 24 seasons, has announced that he will leave the Toronto Blue Jays to retire at the end of this season.
Upon announcing his impending retirement, Vizquel said: “I’ve enjoyed this game a lot, but I think it’s time to pursue a new career as a coach or manager, and hopefully I’ll get that opportunity in the future.”
Always a solid player, Vizquel earned 11 Gold Gloves and 2,854 hits, and helped bring the Cleveland Indians to the World Series in 1995 and 1997. An article in NESN argues that his career warrants inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
Vizquel, who became the oldest player in professional baseball at age 45, has played for six different teams: the Blue Jays (2012), Chicago White Sox (2010-2011), Texas Rangers (2009), San Francisco Giants (2005-2008), Cleveland Indians (1994-2004), and the Seattle Mariners (1989-1993).
Vizquel was born in Caracas, and has maintained strong ties to his native Venezuela. After a mudslide devastated the state of Vargas, he helped with relief efforts and raised $500,000 to help the victims of the disaster.
Press- Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S/ June, 28, 2012