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Omar Vizquel and 20 seasons under 100 OPS+

Posted by Andy on January 19, 2011

Omar Vizquel is coming back next year with the White Sox and there's little reason to think that he'll have an OPS+ of 100 or better given that he hasn't done it since 2002.

Meanwhile, he already holds the post-1901 record for most seasons with an OPS+ under 100 (minimum 50 games in each season):

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Omar Vizquel 19 1989 2010 22-43 Ind. Seasons
2 Luis Aparicio 17 1956 1973 22-39 Ind. Seasons
3 Rabbit Maranville 17 1913 1933 21-41 Ind. Seasons
4 Royce Clayton 16 1992 2007 22-37 Ind. Seasons
5 Larry Bowa 16 1970 1985 24-39 Ind. Seasons
6 Bill Mazeroski 16 1956 1971 19-34 Ind. Seasons
7 Al Lopez 16 1930 1947 21-38 Ind. Seasons
8 Rollie Hemsley 16 1928 1944 21-37 Ind. Seasons
9 Ozzie Guillen 15 1985 2000 21-36 Ind. Seasons
10 Frank White 15 1973 1990 22-39 Ind. Seasons
11 Chris Speier 15 1971 1988 21-38 Ind. Seasons
12 Bill Russell 15 1969 1984 20-35 Ind. Seasons
13 Mark Belanger 15 1967 1982 23-38 Ind. Seasons
14 Roy McMillan 15 1951 1966 21-36 Ind. Seasons
15 Luke Sewell 15 1924 1938 23-37 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/18/2011.

If you're like me, the first thing you thought looking at that list is--hey two of the weakest Hall of Fame selections are up at the top with Vizquel. It makes sense. All three of these guys (Vizquel, Aparicio, and Maranville, not to mentioned Lopez and Mazeroski) stuck in the majors for reasons other than their bats, and therefore they don't compare all that well on paper with many Hall of Fame players.

It makes me wonder again about Vizquel's HOF chances. I ran a poll about this a while back. With more than a thousand votes, only 52% of readers thought he deserved to be in and 51% thought he would actually get in. These are pretty low figures compared to many of our polls, and frankly if our readers don't see the merits of his selection to a greater degree, then I am quite doubtful that the BBWAA will see it any differently.

Thanks to Joseph T for pointing out Vizquel's record.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at 10:16 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

60 Responses to “Omar Vizquel and 20 seasons under 100 OPS+”

  1. Vizquel often gets the Ozzie Smith comparison, which is fair, but they're hardly equals. Smith stole 180 more bases and got caught 15 fewer times, Vizquel grounded into 33 more double plays, had an almost identical OBP in a MUCH better offensive environment (Smith's "neutralized" OBP is .361 compared to Vizquel's .338). Smith had a 43.0 OWAR compared to Vizquel's 29.3.

    And then the defense...

    Smith tops Vizquel by 8 dWAR in his career.

    Yes, Smith is comparable, but Vizquel wasn't nearly as good.

  2. vizquel like many of the weaker HOF members will be put in 40 years from now by the veterans committee

  3. Naturally, Omar's current manager is also on this list.

  4. There are two problems for Omar when talking about HOF.

    1) Vizqel does not hold up vs. Ozzie (as mentioned in #1 above) and there is not likely going to be 2 defensive wizards from the same position from roughly the same era (last quarter of the 20th century).

    2) The number of All Star games hurt Omar. As Andy mentions above, Omar is similar to Luis Aparicio, but from the late 50's to ealy 60's, Luis was the starting SS in the All-Star games. And during that timeframe, being the starting SS of the ASG on a regular basis was abig deal. That has since been a little revised (in the 70's) for the likes of Bert Campaneris, Larry Bowa, Don Kessinger, and Dave Concepcion. Of course it didn't help Dick Groat, but he wasn't really even borderline (even with an MVP, WS title, and 3 consectutive starts in the All-Star Game).

  5. If you make it qualified seasons with OPS+ below 100, Aparacio leads with 16 (Vizquel has 12, as did Ozzie Smith). And if you consider pre-1901, Tommy Corcoran also has 16.

  6. Omar hit 14 homers in 2002. Think he was juicing?

  7. OK, all the veterans here say that you have to use WAR as a tool, not as a one-size-fits-all.

    Vizquel's a perfect example. What the hell has kept this guy in the leagues all these years? His OPS+ is horrible. Honestly, he's as weak as my little sister at the plate.

    So, for him to be so desired, he must be bringing something else to the game. Stolen Bases? Defense? And it turns out that's what has kept him in the game so long. He steals a LOT of bases. He is a VERY good infielder. I know he's no Ozzie, but that's a pretty snappy dWAR.

    In this case, I've always liked Vizquel. Seeing his dWAR helped me like him a little better. If nothing else, it takes a little edge off the WTF I blurted out when I saw his last contract.

  8. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Aparicio looks like a pretty good comp for Omar. Offense below average, but not horrible considering they play short and for a *lot* of games at short. Defense excellent but not stratospheric (behind Ripken, a ways behind Belanger and Smith, but equal or better vis a vis anybody else).

    Aparicio has a bit better peak and a bit higher WAR even with a slightly shorter career. Aparicio was much better on the bases (comparable to smith) and that accounts for most of the difference. Vizquel and Aparicio were very similar in their value as hitters and defensive players.

    IMO, Omar's case (unless he puts together a couple more 2-3 WAR seasons which seems highly unlikely) is definitely a bit weaker than Luis A.'s, who seems like a debatable selection already.

    I predict that the writers elect him if he makes 3000 hits, which seems a *lot* more likely than reaching 50 WAR, since he can clear 3k by just hanging on long enough to get another ~1000 PAs playing around replacement level.

    He's really far behind Trammel and Larkin. It would be something of a travesty if he scratches out 3000 hits and makes it while either or both of those guys get the short straw.

  9. I don't think the hall of fame is about "most valuable players."

    I think it's about the players that meant something to the game and are worth being remembered. In that way, I see Vizquel as being a hall of famer.

  10. Omar has also been a great bunter and very good at advancing runners in his career.

  11. In a perverse way, I am rooting for Vizquel and/or Johnny Damon to reach 3,000 hits, in order to find out whether HOF voters at that time still consider it a "magic number."

    The only HOF-eligible player to reach 3,000 hits and not (yet) be inducted is Rafael Palmeiro, and of course he has that positive steroid test on his record.

    The lowest career OPS+ for any 3,000-hitter so far is 109 by Lou Brock. So Vizquel (93) or Damon (104) would make an excellent test case.

  12. Whoops, typo @11 -- Vizquel's career OPS+ is 83, not 93.

  13. # 9 Jimbo,

    Barney the Dinosaur is in complete agreement.

    As long as everyone tries, and as long we all love the game... by Golly we are all winners. Step right up and get your Hall award.

    Let's rename it the Hall of Really Swell Guys.

  14. Oops, checked Barkie's BAC.

    That was barkfart's post.

  15. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Thanx for posting this Andy!
    When I originally saw Vizquel had 19 seasons of < 100 OPS+, he was retiring at the end of the year.
    Now with the new contract, with him showing his versatility in the field, Guillen obviously taking a liking to him - he has an outside shot at some impressive counting #'s. But HOF? I dunno...
    When comparing Viz to the Wiz, be careful. Remember, even with OPS + and their careers somewhat overlapping, they could not of had more different hitting environments. No DH, no Roids, no AL central pitching...
    The Herzog Cardinals of the 80's were the quintessential 'small-ball' team.
    The 1984-1989 Cardinals, averaged 668 Rs a season and 76 Hrs a season. Or 4.1 Rs a game. and less than .5 HRs a game.
    The 1996-2001 Indians averaged 921 Rs/213 HRs, 5.7 RperG, and 1.3 HRs a game.

  16. Vizquel is a reliable glove man, unfortunately he plays in an era when clubs demand more from the position. The fact that he is getting any recognition at all, is due to longevity, which is a testament to his value in the face of competition from others who can contribute more offensively. In the end however, he will retire as one of the best defensive shortstops of his time...the BWAA will give him his due, but not nearly enough to let him pass...

  17. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Baseball is a strange game.
    Vizquel, as mentioned a few post's ago, appeared in his first game along side Ken Griffey Jr, during his first game. Who would of guessed Vizquel would be the one still active, even though over 3 years older, and with more hits and games played.
    Also, not entirely out of the question, but two seasons of 95+ games and Vizquel moves past Ty Cobb, into 5th all time games played. If you thiink of the the company up their past 3000 games, Rose, Aaron, Yaz, Musial... Vizquel doesn't quite belong. But there he is.
    Some one mentioned some of his positive #s, and they are SBs, SH and defense. Kind of a mix to a throwback player of a bi-gone. I think him and Pierre operating the 1-2 spots in that order, epitomize Guillen's approach to managing.
    They are 1-2 in SH amongst current players.
    1 & 3 in SB ammongst active players.
    Amongst active players they are 1 & 4 in least HRs with players > 6000 PA.
    And they are amongst the lowest for hits gone for extra bases.

  18. @17, Dukeofflatbush: "[Vizquel] and Pierre operating the 1-2 spots in that order, epitomize Guillen's approach to managing."

    And explain why the White Sox were well below the AL average in Runs and RBI from those two spots.

    The White Sox scored 73 runs from the #2 spot, worse than every AL team but Seattle (whose entire offense was historically bad).

    (Random tangent re: AL Runs scored in the 1st inning last year:
    The Yankees ranked 2nd with 99. The median was 82. Minnesota scored 132 runs in the 1st inning. I don't know if there's any meaning behind it. Overall, their scoring was above average, but not by a lot. Still, all other things being equal, you'd rather have an early lead, right?)

  19. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Before we go too far with the Aparacio comparison, I think it should be remembered that Aparacio was also elected, at least in part, as an innovator {or perhaps I should say "re-innovator}. He and Maury Wills were driving forces in the late Fifties/early Sixties reemergance of the stolen base as an offensive weapon that these days is less uncommon.

    Which reminds me; when are we going to have a "Maury Wills and the Hall of Fame" post?

  20. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Or, have we already had one?

  21. dukeofflatbush Says:

    John,
    I was drawing no conclusions from the Pierre-Vizquel pairing at the front of the Chi-sox order.
    I then listed some career #s that clearly stated that these two players were amongst the lowest % wise.
    I am not sure what you mean by EXPLAIN.
    Explain what? I simply mentioned that if those two COULD bat 1-2. I think that explains itself.

  22. dukeofflatbush Says:

    John,
    or I should say, I don't advocate Guillen's approach to offense.
    You don't have to look to much farther then his playing stats.
    But we all watch Ozzie for his sound bytes anyway...

  23. Duke @21-22 -- Due to my imprecise wording, you have mistaken my remarks for criticism aimed at you. That was not at all my intention; I did not take your comment as an endorsement of Ozzie's dinosaur lineups. I did not mean that you should "explain" the White Sox's poor output from the top of the order -- I meant only that, as much as Pierre/Vizquel epitomize Ozzie's approach, they also explain the low output.

    The fault is mine.

  24. Frank @19: "[Aparacio] and Maury Wills were driving forces in the late Fifties/early Sixties reemergance of the stolen base as an offensive weapon...."

    Aparacio certainly was that. In his first 9 seasons (1956-64), Luis averaged 41 SB and just 10 CS, an 81% success rate.

    Unfortunately, that only raised his offensive value from "doesn't belong in the lineup" to "doesn't belong at the top of the order." There's nothing you can do to dress up his .309 OBP for those 9 seasons -- 24 points below the league average for that span.

  25. I think this simply shows that Vizquel has hit just well enough every year to warrant a starting job.

    If the Orioles wanted to sign Cesar Izturis to a 20 year deal I have no doubts he could post 20 more seasons below 100 OPS+ (if not below 70)

  26. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Vizquel might be compared to Graig Nettles, who also played a key defensive position (3rd base) regularly into his early forties, well past the age at which almost all players move to an easier position. Both of them are well up there in career Games Played (and other career totals): Vizquel is 15th, Nettles was about 19th when he retired (I'm estimating)

    Nettles was a much better offensive player than Vizquel; despite a BA 25 points higher, in only one year did Vizquel have an OPS+ as good as Nettle's career average (110). Nettles never had a year as bad as Vizquel's career OPS+ (83) till he was 42. Vizquel was a much better baserunner, but that barely closes the gap.

    Vizquel has had a unique and fascinating career, but "fascinating career" DOES NOT = "HOF-worthy career". Nettles had as good or better mainstream qualifications ( 6 All-star games, MVP votes in 5 years) than Vizquel, but barely got acknowledged by the BBWAA - four years on the ballot, peaking at 8.3%.

    If elected, Vizquel wouldn't be clearly the worst shortstop in HOF, but he'd be close to the bottom. Alan Trammell and especially Barry Larkin are much better candidates on the ballot now.

    As several people upthread have pointed out (#1, #4) several writers have tried to make Vizquel's case as being as good as Ozzie Smith; only problem is that Ozzie was better than Vizquel with the glove, the bat, and on the bases. Both mainstram and advanced statistics show that clearly (I don't mention WAR once, ha ha...).

  27. Bill Buckner a career OPS+ of 99 and somewhat less defensive value than Vizquel and others. I have long been mystified how he got 10,000 plate appearances.

  28. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #27/ stan cook Says: "Bill Buckner a career OPS+ of 99 and somewhat less defensive value than Vizquel and others. I have long been mystified how he got 10,000 plate appearances."

    Stan, because Buckner had a BA above or close to .300 most years, hit a lot of doubles, and had decent RBI totals. Plus he had that "hustling" reputation. There wasn't much attention that he almost never walked (29 BB's/162 games), or that he made a ton of outs (5 times in the Top 10), negating a lot of the the positive value.

    I also recall him get thrown out a lot on the bases trying to "stretch" hits when was on the Red Sox. Sure enough, although in 1986 he was 6 for 10 in SB, he was -6 runs in baserunning. A victory for "advanced" stats!

  29. dukeofflatbush Says:

    John Autin

    No offense taken.
    But I think we both like to investigate unique baseball phenomena.
    Assuming Vizquel gets the 2 spot, the ChiSox should have one of the strangest 1-2 batters in the game. If healthy, Pierre will get to 2000 Hits in '11, as will Paul Konerko. How many line-ups in History had 1-3 hitters all with 2000 Hits? But even with the almost 5,000 hits between them, Pierre & Vizquel have only HRed 94 times.
    & with enough health, the JP/OV duo should eclipse 1000 total SBs during the season.
    To also be ranked 1-2 as active players in SH is pretty weird. In fact, Vizquel has over double (251-125) Pierre.
    Vizquel may be the last position player to get to 250.

  30. dukeofflatbush Says:

    I just checked - the last player to get to 250 SHs was Dick Bartell in 1941. he finished with 269 in 1946.
    I had no idea how rare 250 SH were!!?!

  31. dukeofflatbush Says:

    There is a player named Ossie Vit whom had 259 SHs, good for 30th alltime, but did so with only 894 hits.
    I can't even fathom how that was possible. That's almost 7% of ABs.

  32. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Duke, I have no idea why I find that 250 SH tidbit so fascinating, but I do.

    BUT, SF were being counted as SH for at least some of Bartell's career. (SF didn't become their own category until 1954. I know they were combined with SH for at least some of those years, but I don't think it was all. Either way, some of Bartell's SH were probably not sac bunts.)

  33. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Johnny,
    I was a bit shocked as well to find Vizquel where he was as well.
    Especially as an American Leaguer.
    I figured some NL pitchers with long careers (Sutton or Maddux) would have the 'modern' record.
    I guess what your suggesting by the SH/SF combo, is 250 probably goes back much further than 1941?
    Do you also agree that Vizquel will hold that title for the forseeable future?

  34. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Johnny Twisto,

    "Batters have not been charged with a time at-bat for a sacrifice hit since 1893, but baseball has changed the sacrifice fly rule multiple times. The sacrifice fly as a statistical category was instituted in 1908, only to be discontinued in 1931. The rule was again adopted in 1939, only to be eliminated again in 1940, before being adopted for the last time in 1954."

    That is he quote from wikipedia - for whatever that is worth. I usually find wikipedia to be highly accurate, but the quote does not say 'what' the Sac Flies were counted for, or where they were tallied pre-1954. Like you mentioned, they very well could of been counted 1908-1931, but as what?

  35. Omar, compared to Ozzie, has more runs, hits, HR, and a better BA, OBP and slugging. And less promotion because of where he played.

  36. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #35/.. Franco Says: "Omar, compared to Ozzie, has more runs, hits, HR, and a better BA, OBP and slugging. And less promotion because of where he played."

    Most of that is due to Ozzie playing mostly in a pitchers' era (Air of 95), while Omar played mostly in a pronounced hitter's era (Air of 108), except for HR's (Ozzie had no power, agreed).

    I ran both of them through b-r's Neutralized Batting:
    OZZIE SMITH......: .282/ .361 OBA/ .352 SLG/ 1418 runs/ 2846 hits/ 31 HR
    OMAR VIZQUEL.: .273/ .338 OBA/ .354 SLG/ 1374 runs/ 2852 hits/ 81 HR

    They look somewhat similar to me, except Ozzie walked more (67 BB/162 games, compared to Omar's 58 BB /162 games),and Ozzie was a better base stealer - as Atom says in #1, Ozzie stole 180 bases and got caught 15 less times.

    Both were below-average offensive players, but due to Ozzie's better OBP and base stealing, Ozzie is "less bad". Ozzie has a better OPS+, 87 to 83, and that doesn't include his large baserunning advantage. After 1983, he's about league-average offensively over the rest of his career- it's those early years (1978-83) that drag down his numbers.

    I don't see a strong HOF case for Omar; with his offensive performance he'd have to have an Ozzie or Maz-level of defensive value. He's good, but not THAT good.

  37. About Vizquel's 251 sac bunts (and BTW, I'm thinking out loud here, so if my theory is stupid, please puncture it):

    It seems possible to me that Vizquel's career BA is 3 to 4 points higher than it really should be, due to an official-scoring phenomenon that I'll call "the false sacrifice."

    We've all seen it: With a runner on base, a batter such as Vizquel lays down a bunt, aiming for a base hit. For his BA, it's almost a no-lose proposition: if he doesn't get the hit but advances the runner, there's a very good chance the official scorer will deem it a sac bunt -- even when it's clearly not an appropriate situation to sacrifice.

    To be clear, I am definitely not saying that Vizquel did this in a selfish quest to drive up his BA. It's just something that happens when a player bunts a lot.

    Look at Vizquel's career bunt data (under Batting Splits > Hit Trajectory):
    -- 501 PAs, i.e., bunts; 251 sacrifices; 250 ABs; 148 hits; .592 BA.

    Now, I don't know what range of BA the best bunters might compile when bunting for a hit with no possibility of a sacrifice. But .592 looks pretty fishy.

    For the sake of argument, let's guess that 100 of Vizquel's 251 sac bunts were actually bunting for a hit and should have been scored as ABs. That would still give him a hefty .423 BA on bunts. But those extra 100 ABs on his record would bring his career BA down from .273 to .270. If we use 150 instead of 100, his career BA becomes .269.

    And why do I suppose that a lot of Vizquel's sac bunts were not truly sacrifice attempts? The offensive context of his times and his teams. Just to take the most glaring example:

    -- The 1999 Indians scored 1,009 runs, averaging 6.23 R/G -- numbers that, as I recall, had not been seen since the '30s. Vizquel, batting 2nd most of the time, laid down a MLB-high 17 sac bunts. The meat of the order was monstrous. Were there really so many game situations that truly called for a sacrifice?

  38. P.S. to my #37 -- I notice that Vizquel and his top-of-the-order partner Juan Pierre both have roughly the same number of career bunts, as well as hits on bunts. I don't know if Pierre is considered a good bunter, but he's faster than Vizquel and always hits left-handed -- so I'm guessing that Pierre's rate of beating out a bunt.

    So, their "official" career bunt stats (per B-R splits):
    -- Pierre, 562 PAs, 125 sac's, 437 ABs, 168 hits, .384 BA;
    -- Vizquel, 501 PAs, 251 sac's, 250 ABs, 148 hits, .592 BA.

    But if we count all the bunts as ABs and recalculate their BAs:
    -- Pierre, 168 for 562, .299;
    -- Vizquel, 148 for 501, .295.

  39. Doink -- in #38, I forgot to finish the last sentence of the first paragraph. I meant to say: "... so I'm guessing that Pierre's rate of beating out a bunt is at least in the same ballpark as Vizquel's."

  40. Ichiro is listed at 66/100 base hits/bunts for hits. Add in his 27 SH and you still get BA > .500.

    On the history of scoring rules wrt SH/SF: look at Lou Gehrig's numbers year by year. You will see that he was averaging about 16/year through 1930 and 1/year after. I am sure that they were counting SF as SH before 1930.

    Sean; there is something very strange going on in the SH Progressive leader table. In the Active column, start about 1975, there are pitchers showing up some years but not others. Phil Niekro is listed at 387 in 1987 but is not the Active leader in any other year, even though nobody else has reached 300 in decades. His player page has a much lower number. Same for Gaylord Perry. Something is going on to cause errors for pitchers totals.

  41. Jacques Strappe Says:

    kds - You've got to be right about the 1930 thing. Babe Ruth was credited with 21 SH in 1930, 0 in 1931.

  42. Omar has 2799 hits, 47th all-time, I believe.

    The only HOF-eligible guy ahead of him who's NOT in the HOF, other than roid-rumor-tainted guys or Pete Rose, is Harold Baines.

    Another couple of seasons like 2010, and he'll climb way up that list, close to 3000 hits.

    Those who seem not to think he's HOF-worthy must not have seen him play much. He was hurt by playing in Seattle and Cleveland, and not in big TV markets NY, Boston, St Louis, or LA. Put him on national TV for his career, and he'd be a shoo-in.

    For those who dismiss his superior offensive numbers vis-a-vis Ozzie because Omar was in a more offense-minded era, much of that was because of PEDs, and Omar has never had a hint of scandal there.

    He's STILL a terrific glove, at age 43, and IMHO, deserved at least a couple more GGs, though his current total is still pretty swell.

  43. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #42/ franco Says: "... For those who dismiss his superior offensive numbers vis-a-vis Ozzie because Omar was in a more offense-minded era, much of that was because of PEDs, and Omar has never had a hint of scandal there."

    I think this is somewhat disengenious, PEDs have nothing to do with comparing the offensive performance of Omar versus Ozzie. Ozzie was simply a better offensive performer than Omar; as I pointed out in #36, from 1983 to the end of his career (1996) Ozzie Smith was about league-average for offense when you include baserunning; Omar only gets to that level in 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2006, otherwise he's frequently far below-average.

    Omar has gotten plenty of kudos for being a great fielder, rightfully so; I just don't think he's at the same level of Ozzie Smith, as arguably the best-ever defensive shortstop. Without that "arguably the best-ever" defensive case, I don't see his HOF argument.

  44. dukeofflatbush Says:

    To Johnny and John and others,

    I am really curious now since JT brought to my attention that SH/SF were counted together pre-1954.
    It is not out of the realm of possibility that Omar Vizquel may own the SH record. That seems all the more improbable since Omar played 20 of his 22 seasons with the DH and playing in an era where the SH is going out of vogue.
    Just a random check of some of the guys ahead of Vizquel on the SH list, and I saw that Ty Cobb had one game in '24 where he went 0-2 with 2 SH and 2 RBIs...
    Probably impossible to check them all.

  45. Johnny Twisto Says:

    It is not out of the realm of possibility that Omar Vizquel may own the SH record.

    I'll say he does not. I haven't researched this too deeply, just looking at the things you and Kds posted, and the numbers on B-R. I think sac flies were just counted together with sac bunts during the early years they were counted, 1908-1930 and 1939. Since 1954 they were counted as their own category. The career leader in sacrifice hits is Eddie Collins with 512. Knowing the type of player Collins was, and the era when he played, it stands to reason that most of those are indeed bunts. The career (since 1954) leader in sac flies is Eddie Murray with 128**. Even if Eddie Collins had twice as many sac flies as Murray, half of his sacrifices would still be sac bunts. I'd say it's much more likely he had almost 500 sac bunts.

    Since 1954 we know the stats are separate. Vizquel has a pretty solid lead in SH since '54. It's not surprising, but interesting to see how all of the leaders since then played up the middle -- the top guys are all SS and P, then you get some 2B, then the odd CF or C. Rod Carew is in there, he played more 1B than anything but of course started at 2B.

    Vizquel has 14 seasons of at least 10 SH, 8th most ever. Nellie Fox, who debuted in 1949, does as well. The next player who debuted post-WWII is in 39th place. (Of course, those early seasons are contaminated with some sac flies.)

    **Oddly, Murray only had 10 SF in a season once. There have been over 350 seasons of at least 10 SF, about 6 guys a year. Murray just kept piling up 6-8 SF a year for 20 years. Even in such a narrowly defined statistic, he was Steady Eddie.

  46. dukeofflatbush Says:

    JT,

    Agreed that Collins owns the record. I had no idea he had so many SHs.
    One thing that struck me as odd, was what a good hitter Collins was to have so many SHs.
    In 1915, Collins hit .332 and had a .460 OBP while leading the AL in BBs with 119.
    What strikes me as 'nuts' - is he not only had 35 SHs but had 30 CS as well. 30 CS in 76 chances! That is 65 very avoidable outs. This from a guy with a .460 OBP. It boggles the mind why the manager would have him bunt.

    I also ran a game event finder, searching multiple seasons for at least 1 SH, 0 Hs, 0 BBs, at least one RBI - 1920-1953. No smoking gun. But some fun names. Stuffy Mcguinnis had 9 such games.

    But back to Vizquel. He is only 24 SHs short of Sewel for the post-1920 record. I give him 5-10 SH this year, and 'say' Sewel had at least 20 SacFlies count as Sac Bunts...
    So sleep tight little O, you're my SH king at least.

  47. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Duke, I may be mistaken, but I believe the hit-and-run was a big strategy for at least part of Collins's career, which could explain so many CS.

    And all the bunting made more sense at the time. Low-scoring era with a lot of errors; I wouldn't be surprised if Collins reached safely on many of those SH.

  48. Dukeofflatbush -- "Say the magic word, you win a hundred dollars!"

    Stuffy McInnis is one of my favorite baseball names, and one of the B-R pages I sponsor. (Don't bother trying to understand what I wrote there; it was an inside joke for my buddy's birthday.)

    Stuffy McInnis:

    -- Is one of 26 players to log a 100-RBI season by the age of 21, which he did for the 1912 A's, an offensive juggernaut that averaged 5.1 R/G.

    -- Played for 6 pennant winners (A's 1910-11, '13-14, Red Sox '18 and Pirates '25), and 5 last-place clubs (A's 1915-17, Braves '23-24).

    -- Is one of the few (?) players to win a WS with 3 different clubs, including one in each league. (He may have been the first to do that, though I'm totally guessing here.)

    -- Finished off his MLB career as the irrelevant-manager-du-jour for the 1927 Phillies, one of three different managers in three years to bring that hapless club home in last place.

    -- Has an interesting set of "similarity scores." The list is topped by a hero and a villain: "Jolly Cholly" Grimm, one of the most popular figures in Cubs history and the last manager to lead the team to the pennant; and Hal Chase, perhaps the crookedest big-leaguer ever (and the subject of a great essay in B.James's Historical Abstract). Only one of the ten men on Stuffy's "most-similar" list played after WWII: Willie McGee. (And couldn't you just picture McGee as a dead-ball star?)

  49. @43

    But don't you see, league average was messed up by all the players using steroids in Omar's era, thus his OPS+ suffers in ways that Ozzies doesn't (as much).

    And @37 I've always felt players that want batting titles should go for bunt hits with men on base alot, as they are getting freerolls. Get it down and it's either a hit or a SH.

  50. "(And couldn't you just picture McGee as a dead-ball star?)"

    Unfortunately he was the wrong color.

  51. JT #45, as far as I can tell, SF's just disappear from the scoring record from 1931 through 1954, ( don't know about 1939), that is they do not show up separately, just as 1 AB, 1 out, and an RBI. (Very rarely 2 RBI.) I thought that something that helped lead eventually to the 1955 SF rule was Ted Williams' manager noting how all the run scoring fly ball outs Teddy got were hurting his batting average. (Yes, his .406 in 1941 would be even higher by present day rules.)

  52. @50 -- If my imagination can time-travel McGee's career backward by 70 years, I think it can do the same for integration.

  53. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #49/.. Jimbo Says: @43 "But don't you see, league average was messed up by all the players using steroids in Omar's era, thus his OPS+ suffers in ways that Ozzies doesn't (as much)..."

    No Jimbo, I don't see; players should be judged against other players in their time without a "steriod adjustment"; to do that is to engage in nothing but pure speculation about who did and did not use, and what the effects of the PEDs were, if any.

    It's hard enough to figure out what the numbers really mean without "adjusting" for possible PED use.

  54. 43.Lawrence Azrin Says:
    January 21st, 2011 at 5:07 pm .#42/ franco Says: "... For those who dismiss his superior offensive numbers vis-a-vis Ozzie because Omar was in a more offense-minded era, much of that was because of PEDs, and Omar has never had a hint of scandal there."
    I think this is somewhat disengenious, PEDs have nothing to do with comparing the offensive performance of Omar versus Ozzie.
    ===

    Not disingenuous at all. You were the one to say that Omar played in a more high-offense era. To suggest that out without including PEDs in that higher offense is to ignore an obvious, and important, point of differentiation, because Omar didn't benefit from PEDs, and therefore was hurt when compared to so many in his era who WERE/ARE users.

    And it's simply a fact that Omar, compared to Ozzie, has more runs, hits, HR, and a better BA, OBP and slugging. Plus, Ozzie got a lot more hype playing in St Louis than Omar got in Cleveland/Seattle/ Texas, etc.

  55. Throwing two-cents, I'd say that Vizquel is a great player, but not a hall of famer. One point I didn't see raised (perhaps I missed it) is the evolution of the SS position in the 1990's. If HoF voting involves dominance in a player's era (which I believe it always does), Vizquel will never measure up to the other SS's he played with in the post-Ripkin era--A-Rod, Jeter, Tejada, Garciaparra, Renteria, Larkin, Reyes (etc, etc, etc).

    If he does get in, it will likely be by the veteran committee far in the future, as another post suggested.

  56. 53.Lawrence Azrin Says:
    January 24th, 2011 at 11:35 am .#49/.. Jimbo Says: @43 "But don't you see, league average was messed up by all the players using steroids in Omar's era, thus his OPS+ suffers in ways that Ozzies doesn't (as much)..."
    No Jimbo, I don't see; players should be judged against other players in their time without a "steriod adjustment"; to do that is to engage in nothing but pure speculation about who did and did not use, and what the effects of the PEDs were, if any.
    It's hard enough to figure out what the numbers really mean

    ===

    I couldn't disagree more strongly. How can one NOT take into account the use of steroids as a contributing factor when comparing stats? Do ignore that factor is putting one's head in the sand, in this case as a convenient way to bolster a weak argument by choosing to ignore an important issue. Most people, including me, don't give a much credence to, for example, Palmeiro's home run total as to Henry Aaron's home run total, because Palmeiro tested positive for PEDs. It seems very likely that more people in Vizquel's era used PEDs than in Ozzie's era. Hence, offensive numbers against which Vizquel is compared in his era--like those for SS/3B A-Roid--are inflated.

  57. marc Says:
    January 24th, 2011 at 11:48 am .Throwing two-cents, I'd say that Vizquel is a great player, but not a hall of famer. One point I didn't see raised (perhaps I missed it) is the evolution of the SS position in the 1990's. If HoF voting involves dominance in a player's era (which I believe it always does), Vizquel will never measure up to the other SS's he played with in the post-Ripkin era--A-Rod, Jeter, Tejada, Garciaparra, Renteria, Larkin, Reyes (etc, etc, etc).
    ===

    well, A-Roid got a some of his numbers because of PEDs, as also seems likely for Tejada. As for the others, who knows. I've also read--and it's only speculation, of course--that Garciaparra's injury-prone career may have been due to PEDs. And all Vizquel's defensive dominance is also just that...dominance.

  58. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #56/ Franco "I couldn't disagree more strongly. How can one NOT take into account the use of steroids as a contributing factor when comparing stats?... "

    Well, we'll have to agree to disagree _very_ strongly... I just find it odd that you are trying to turn this into a steriod thread, when the two players being compared have _NEVER_ been accused of PED use.

    I understand what you are trying do, in dividing MLB players into "good" (non-PED users) versus "bad" (PED users), but since it's likely that almost no major league baseball game since the early 90's hasn't contained at least one steriod user on the field, it seems like a futile exercise to me.

  59. Lawrence, I agree that we need to agree to respectfully disagree. That's what makes this stuff fun, after all. But your suggestion that I'm "trying to turn this into a steriod (sic) thread" or divide players into "good vs bad" is simply inaccurate. In trying to invalidate Vizquel's HOF status, YOU point out that he played in a more offensive-minded era. I simply, and appropriately, responded that some of the difference between his and previous eras was that he played against guys who used PEDs. That's simply a fact. That fact has something to do with the difference in offense in the two eras. He was playing against some guys who had an edge over him, and over guys from earlier eras. That undermines the notion that his edge over Ozzie and others in several offensive categories is somehow invalid.

    Finally, I repeat that anyone who didn't see Vizquel play the position of SS over an extended time simply cannot understand how extraordinary he was ( and still is) in the field. Had he played in abig market with lots of face-time on TV, I truly believe he'd be widely assumed to be a strong HOF candidate. That shouldn't be a factor, but it clearly is.

  60. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Cleveland was in the postseason 6 times in 7 years. Vizquel got plenty of face-time.