It is unlikely that 45-year-old Blue Jays shortstop Omar Vizquel will ever get confused with legendary slugger Babe Ruth, but now the two are linked in the Major League record books.
With a single in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s doubleheader opener at – of all places – the new Yankee Stadium, Vizquel tied Ruth for 41st on the all-time hits list with 2,873.
An international free agent signed by the Seattle Mariners out of Venezuela in 1984, Vizquel notched his first big league hit against Oakland’s Storm Davis on April 6, 1989. That year, the player who is regarded as one of the best defensive shortstops in the history of the game batted .220 in 431 plate appearances for the Mariners. He became a productive Major League hitter and has a .272 career average over 24 seasons.
Though Vizquel has tied Ruth in hits, he has a few more long balls to slug before matching Ruth’s 714 career home runs. Vizquel has 80 dingers to his credit and has reached double digits in a single season just once – 2002, when he had 14 home runs and 72 RBI with Cleveland.