Can Omar Vizquel Reach 3,000 Hits with White Sox?

VIZQUEL

Yesterday, the Chicago White Sox agreed to terms on a one-year,
$1.75-million contract with 11-time Gold Glove infielder Omar Vizquel.
The 43 year old, hit .276 (95-344) with 11 doubles, two home runs and 30
RBI in 108 games with the White Sox in 2010.  He made 62 starts at
third base, 19 at second, eight at shortstop and one as the designated
hitter.

And believe it or not, the native of Caracas, Venezuela, is just 201
hits away from joining the hallowed 3,000 hit club. We know he likely
won't get enough at bats in 2011 to reach the mark. But since he's
coming back next year, and he had about 100 hits last season, why not
saddle up in 2012 and get another c-note or so worth of base hits to
initiate himself into that elite company?

The switch-hitting infielder owns a lifetime .273 batting average
with 80 home runs, 936 RBI and 1,414 runs scored in 2,850 games with
the Seattle Mariners (1989-1993), Cleveland Indians (1994-2004), San
Francisco Giants (2005-08), Texas Rangers (2009) and the White Sox
(2010).

He is tied for 15th all-time in games played, ranks 19th in at-bats,
47th in hits and 68th in stolen bases (400).  Vizquel's 2,678 hits as a
shortstop are the second-highest total all-time, trailing only Derek
Jeter (2,904), and his 2,850 games played are the most by a
foreign-born player in major league baseball history. The fact that he's
this close to the 3,000 club is impressive when you consider he only
hit above .300 once in his 22 year career (1999), and north of .290 in
five of his 22 seasons.

Vizquel, a three-time American League All-Star (1998-99, 2002),
originally signed with the White Sox as a free agent on November 23,
2009.

You might recall Sox legend Harold Baines sticking around forever
trying to reach this elite club. Even returning after the 2000 AL
Central Division title year. But he never even reached 2,900. Maybe
Vizquel can succeed where he failed.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He's also a regular contributor to the Tribune's Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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