One year after slugger Jim Thome entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame wearing an Indians cap on his plaque, many Tribe fans had been hoping to see another favorite of theirs enter Cooperstown.
Former Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel is back on the ballot for the second straight year after missing election in 2018. His candidacy has been debated by writers, analysts, and fans alike. However, it appears he will once again come up short this time around.
According to ballot tracker extraordinaire Ryan Thibodaux, Vizquel’s name has appeared on just 36.7 percent of the 147 (out of an estimated 412) public ballots so far, well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Thibodaux’s tracker also indicates Vizquel would need to be on just over 96 percent of remaining ballots to be elected, and that seems highly unlikely.
During a 24-year career (11 of which came in Cleveland), Vizquel made three All-Star teams while amassing 11 Gold Gloves and 2,877 hits. His status as a potential Hall of Famer has been supported by more traditional voters, while at times questioned by the more analytically-based crowd that points to a relatively low 82 OPS+ and 45.6 career Baseball Reference WAR.
There is some good news for Vizquel, however: With his name already appearing on 54 ballots, he is guaranteed to get the five percent needed to be considered next year. Vizquel has also gained a net 12 votes from writers since 2018, so his stock appears to be trending upward.
Other notable former Cleveland Indians on the ballot include Manny Ramirez (who sits at only 26.8 percent thanks to multiple failed drug tests during his career) and Travis Hafner (who has yet to earn a single vote). Additionally, former Indian Harold Baines will be inducted this summer after being selected by the Today’s Game Era Committee. Baines played 28 games with the Tribe back in 1999, helping them win the American League Central division.