Blue Jays have plenty of ties to the Hall of Fame ballot
The softest hands this side of Sault Ste. Marie
I’m going to give you the Cole’s Notes version of Vizquel’s story, and then encourage you to check out our own Bob Ritchie’s analysis of Vizquel’s candidacy as well.
The Venezuelan played an incredible 24 seasons, finishing up his career with the Blue Jays in 2012 at the age of 45. He played in 60 games that season for the Blue Jays and had a modest contribution on the stat sheet, but provided invaluable veteran leadership and guidance to the young players on the roster back then.
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Throughout the rest of his career playing with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, and Chicago White Sox, Vizquel slashed .272/.336/.352, which makes you wonder why he’s in the conversation. That’s not bad by any means, but this is the Hall of Fame we’re talking about.
Of course, the reason would be the smooth as silk fielding skills he possessed, and the defensive clinic he put on for more than two decades. He won 11 Glove Gloves, and if not for some other premier defenders in the game at the time, he could have won more. He finished his career with 45.3 WAR, without ever being a premier offensive player. That’s pretty impressive.
So there you have it, the nine players eligible for this year’s Hall of Fame ballot who have ties to the Blue Jays. Some more extensive than others and some fans will likely root for more than others as well.
For what it’s worth, I believe Clemens has the best shot of this group, but I think he’s another couple years away from enshrinement. For my money, I believe the next former Blue Jay inducted will be Roy Halladay in 2019.