One afternoon, about 12 years ago, Ramón Corro was interviewing me on his program El Show del Fanático, on Meridiano TV, in Caracas. Suddenly, without our having prepared it, he asked me if I would vote for Omar Vizquel for the Hall of Fame. I answered no.
"For what reason?" Re-asked Corro, very surprised.
“Among other details” I replied, “because he was not the best shortstop of his time. They were Alex Rodríguez, Cal Ripken, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, Derek Jeter ”.
And thus was born this international controversy, never before lived, about an election for Cooperstown.
Vizquel and I at this moment are the ex-big leaguer and the most famous baseball journalist in the world. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Thank you very much Omar. Thank you very much I run.
The fellow journalist and voter, Joe Posnanski, asked me the day before yesterday ...: "Have you had any difficulties with Vizquel?"
Never. On the contrary, I am grateful for his attentions when I have needed to interview him and for details such as one afternoon in Boston. We were in the same hotel and we met in the lobby. He asked me, "Are you going to the stadium yet?" So it was. Well, he invited me to go with him in a taxi, and we talked a lot, as always, about baseball. He is a fine gentleman. In addition, I saw him play since I was a child, because my children played in the same Caracas league as him.
I confess that I would like to vote for Omar. But I think I would do the wrong thing.
Sometimes I hear from some who have seen a few major league games and just on television, compare Omar Vizquel to Ozzie Smith. But they have no way to defend themselves. Smith has been the best shortstop in history, only comparable to Luis Aparicio.
The WAR system is considered the best measure the quality of big leaguers. Ozzie ranks XNUMXnd on the all-time list, Aparicio XNUMXnd, Vizquel XNUMXnd. Omar was good, nobody has said he was bad, but only comparable within the group of Mark Belanger, Rick Burlenson and Larry Bowa.
The Cooperstown Hall of Fame is honored and respected for the seriousness with which each election has been handled for 85 years. If history, honesty, honor, and respect are not important to new voters now, a new and regrettable era has begun.
As additional data and to conclude, certain Venezuelans consider valid for Cooperstown, what Vizquel did with the Leones del Caracas and his popularity in Venezuela, thanks to the Maltín Polar campaign. Being wrong is not a crime and mistakes sometimes triumph.