Thursday, October 4, 2012

Historic Day For Two Venezuelan Big Leaguers

Omar Vizquel and Miguel Cabrera were the center of attention on the night of October 3, 2012. While it might have been for very different reasons, they both made the Venezuelan people and Latino communities all over the world proud.
It is easy to tell that Vizquel and Cabrera are nothing alike, but they shined on the same day, coincidently. While Omar Vizquel is super charismatic and talkative, Miguel Cabrera is not a people person. During his 24 year MLB playing career, Vizquel was a role model on and off the field, always helpful and understanding with the media and fans… Parents would want their kids to look up to him. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about Cabrera.
Though, what can be said is that the kid was born to play the game of baseball. Cabrera has not disappointed anyone on the field since he was a prospect. Throughout his years in the Majors, he has been a home run and RBI machine, putting unbelievable numbers season after season.
Off the field, I must admit that I do not like the guy, but, on the field, he is the best player a team can have. Cabrera has shown to be a complete player, doing well with his glove, extraordinary with his bat, and a true team player. Therefore, I am excited that he won the Triple Crown this season after 45 years without a winner, and I feel proud and blessed to have witnessed such a historic accomplishment. He totally deserved it! And who knows? Maybe this is what he needed to start being more matured, responsible and respectful off the field.
Vizquel, without a doubt, was also brought into this world to play ‘ball’, as well. Blessed with so much talent, Omar shared smiles and stories with thousands of people during his baseball career. His sense of humor and humbleness made it easy for him to be liked and admired by baseball fans from all over the world. And his mental and physical preparation for the game, as well as his skills, allowed him to be privileged enough to enjoy and be one of the few players who ever played the game through four different decades in the MLB (from 1989 to 2012).
Last night, at the age of 45, Omar Vizquel played his last baseball game as a player. The great infielder played shortstop (his routine position in his younger days), wore number 13 (exchanged numbers for a day with Lawrie), threw the ceremonial pitch, made a catch over the shoulder, hit a single in his last at-bat, and left the game with a huge standing ovation (well deserved), after being taken out of the game in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, winning the game 2-1. In a way, the game reflected a summary of his career: playing shortstop, wearing number 13, smiling, making great plays, hitting singles and making people proud, happy and joyful.

In case you are wondering…
- Miguel Cabrera won the AL Triple Crown after recording an average at-bat of .330, 44 HRs and 139 RBIs.
- Some of Vizquel’s achievements as a big leaguer are: 11 times golden glove, 3 times selected to the All Star game, fielding percentage (.985), oldest player to ever player the shortstop position (45), most number of games played at the shortstop position, least number of errors at the shortstop position in a season (3), among others.
Congratulations Miguel Cabrera and Omar Vizquel for your historic accomplishments! The Hall of Fame awaits you.

- Y gracias por no fumar!
Collage of Miguel Cabrera's and Omar Vizquel's historic nights (Own creation).

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