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Omar Vizquel (Omar Enrique (Gonzalez) Vizquel) was born on April 24, 1967 in Caracas, Distrito Federal (Venezuela). He made his Major League debut on April 3, 1989 for the Seattle Mariners. In 1989, his rookie year, he hit .220 with 1 home run and 20 RBI. Vizquel played for the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants over the course of his 18 year career.
Most people believe that Omar Vizquel's best season was 1999, when he stole 42 bases, hit for a .333 average and knocked in 66 runs.
- Signed as a non-drafted free agent by Seattle Mariners (April 1, 1984).
- Traded by Seattle Mariners to Cleveland Indians in exchange for Felix Fermin, Reggie Jefferson, and cash (December 20, 1993).
- Granted free agency (October 29, 2004).
- Signed by San Francisco Giants (November 16, 2004).
- Vizquel is an avid painter and sculptor.
- Along with his artistic pursuits, Omar also is a collector of fine art and owns several modern art pieces. Included in his collection is a glass chandelier for his home made by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly worth over $100,000.
- Vizquel plays the guitar, drums, and sings. He is a fan of salsa music and loves to dance.
- Omar is known as a "Reniassance Man" as he is very talented in many areas. He is also a lover of fashion and has a unique fashion style.
- Omar is also active in community service, having served as an honorary spokesperson for "Young Audiences", an arts education organization in Cleveland, and "Schools Now", which raises funds through the sale of entertainment booklets. Following the 1999 Vargas mudslide disaster that killed 25,000 in his native Venezuela, Vizquel not only donated his time to the relief effort but also helped to raise over $500,000 for the cause. Vizquel also has various charitable events in downtown Cleveland such as Tribe Jam, where he and some other teammates get together with each other or with retired singers and sing some of their favorite songs.
- His 2002 autobiography, "Omar!: My Life on and Off the Field", which he co-wrote with Bob Dyer, spent four weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. It was also released in paperback in 2003. The accounts in the book about the Mesa scenario continue to fuel angst and misunderstandings between Jose Mesa and Vizquel.
- He is the only non-American to win the Hutch Award.
- He won the award in 1996 with the Cleveland Indians.
- He is the all-time leader in double plays as a shortstop (1655 going into the 2008 season).
- He is the oldest shortstop recipient of the Gold Glove award.
- He won one when he was 38 and one when he was 39; no shortstop has ever won won at the age of 38 or above.
- He tied Cal Ripken's AL record, since surpassed, for most consecutive games at shortstop without an error (95 between September 26, 1999 and July 21, 2001).
- He holds the record for the lowest number of errors in a season by a shortstop (tie) (3 in the 2000 season).
- That year, he was able to hold a .995 career fielding percentage, which is the highest of all-time for a shortstop in Major League history.
- He is the American League record holder (tie) for most hits in a nine inning game (6).
- On May 27, 2003, had a straight steal of home against the Detroit Tigers. This caught Tigers pitcher Steve Avery by so much surprise that Vizquel made it home without a throw, which is extremely rare.
- Tied the 2002 All-Star Game 7-7 with an RBI triple in the eighth inning. The game ended controversially after 11 innings tied 7-7.
- On August 5, 2001 hit a 3-run triple in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners to tie the game 14-14, erasing an earlier 14-2 deficit midway through the seventh inning. Vizquel and the Indians went on to win 15-14 in 11 innings. It was tied for the largest comeback in history.
- Omar is referenced in an episode of 'The Simpsons' entitled "Bart's Friend Falls in Love". In the episode, Bart takes a distracted Milhouse's Carl Yastrzemski baseball card in exchange for one of Vizquel with the head cut out.