Omar Vizquel's 2,832 games a record
DETROIT -- White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel had already made history Monday before somebody was able to tell him what he did.
The 43-year-old has now played in the most games of any foreign-born player at 2,832, passing Rafael Palmeiro. Playing mostly third base this season, Vizquel was thrilled that the record came on a rare day when he was back at his natural position of shortstop against the Detroit Tigers.
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"There's not many shortstops that get to play that position at 43," Vizquel said. "I'm happy that I'm still able to do that. Even though I have two knee surgeries, I'm still able to come back out of that and keep myself in shape to play this year. But obviously, I'm not thinking about records now or how many hits or how many games. I think everyone here is focused to do one job and that's try to finish strong and that's what I'm trying to do.''
Midway through the game, Vizquel was told about his accomplishment from first-base coach Omer Munoz. He had heard about it from Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera at some point during the game. The Elias Sports Bureau confirmed the accomplishment after the game.
Just below Vizquel and Palmeiro on the list of games played by a foreign-born player are Tony Perez (2,777), Luis Aparicio (2,601) and Julio Franco (2,527).
"It's hard to believe through all these years and talking about playing so many games I look back on my career and it looks like I just started playing five years ago," Vizquel said. "All of a sudden you find yourself with a lot of games on you, a lot of hits, a lot of records and I'm feeling very proud because I never thought I'd be in the big leagues for this long. And it's been a very great road for me.
"Each year was a different challenge and I take pride because you never know what could happen to you, or an injury or you can't rebound and play again. So it takes a lot of hours and experience to know your body to be in the place that I am today."
Expected to be a lightly-used backup infielderthis season, Vizquel has played 90 games, 78 of them at third base where he took over when Mark Teahen went down with a broken finger earlier this season. Vizquel has continued to play there even though Teahen has returned.
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
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