Vizquel says he plans to keep playing
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Omar Vizquel wants to extend his term as the oldest position player in the major leagues.
The 42-year-old Rangers infielder said Sunday that he's planning to play another season.
"I'm going to play. I'm going to try to give it another shot," Vizquel said before the Rangers' home finale against Tampa Bay. "I still feel physically pretty good. When my body feels like that, I better take advantage of it."
Vizquel is wrapping up his 21st major league season, his first in Texas. He signed with the Rangers last winter knowing he would serve primarily as a mentor to rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus.
An 11-time Gold Glove winner, Vizquel's 2,680 games at shortstop are a major league record. Only Ozzie Smith has won more Gold Gloves at shortstop (13), but Vizquel is the only shortstop to win the award multiple times in the American and National League.
Before coming to Texas on a $1 million deal, Vizquel had played all but two of his games defensively at shortstop. He had one game at second base in 1991 and one in right field 10 years ago.
Vizquel has started 43 games for Texas -- 21 at shortstop, 14 at second and eight at third -- and has 202 fielding chances without an error, the most among any non-first baseman in the major leagues. In 59 games overall, he has a .266 batting average.
"I'm pretty happy about what I did," he said.
Vizquel, whose 2,702 hits are the most by a native of Venezuela, becomes a free agent after the season.
"If he wants to play another year, we want him another year," manager Ron Washington said. "He's certainly part of my plan if that's what he wants to do."
A .273 career hitter in 2,739 games, Vizquel also played for Seattle (1989-93), Cleveland (1994-2004) and San Francisco (2005-08). He turns 43 on April 24.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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