Uhh…when the riot that just broke out within the Campy Campaneris camp is quelled?
Questions started coming up: he’s never been anyone’s idea of a sabermetric darling—just the opposite—but at some point do we have to start taking Omar Vizquel’s Hall of Fame candidacy seriously?
Could he be a shortstop version of Nolan Ryan? In Bill James’ original Historical Baseball Abstract he wrote, “I may get kicked out of the sabermetricians union for saying this, but it seems to me that we’ve got to start taking Ryan a little more seriously as a great pitcher.” Is Vizquel, like Ryan, someone widely overrated by the masses but who is good enough long enough to become great?
Vizquel’s fundamental uniqueness
The above really makes two things clear. First is the fundamental weakness of Vizquel’s case. Should we take his Cooperstown case seriously? Nah.
However, there’s a second, subtler point to be filtered out from the info. There is really no good comparable for Vizquel’s Hall of Fame candidacy or indeed for his career.
Oh, there are plenty of gloves that are better regarded by the general public than the Big Defensive Metrics. Many long careers are stronger at quantity than quality. Numerous infielders survived for a long time on primarily on the strength of their glove. But who does all three?