Vizquel sets mark as oldest to play shortstop

Vizquel sets mark as oldest to play shortstop

Vizquel sets mark as oldest to play shortstop
ANAHEIM -- Blue Jays infielder Omar Vizquel became the oldest player in Major League history to take the field at shortstop on Sunday afternoon against the Angels.

The 45-year-old Vizquel broke a record that has stood since 1918. The previous mark belonged to Bobby Wallace, who appeared in 12 games at the position for the St. Louis Cardinals at age 44.

"When you go back 100 years to look for a record, it is pretty amazing, actually," Vizquel said after Toronto fell, 4-3. "I can't believe that I'm still jumping around and playing shortstop at this age. I feel pretty good about myself, I feel pretty good about my physical condition.

"It hasn't been a year of work, it has been constantly working out every year, trying to improve your speed or your flexibility. It has been really hard work."

Vizquel signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training during the offseason and officially won the utility-infielder spot late in camp. But with Brett Lawrie, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar firmly entrenched as everyday players, there hasn't been much playing time to go around.

The native of Venezuela has appeared in just seven games this season, while posting a .133 average.

"It has been hard, but I think I'm used to this kind of situation right now, where you can just come from the bench and play once a week or try to give somebody a day off," Vizquel said. "It is tough, but that's what the guys that are utility or have backup roles have to think about, have to concentrate and have to do.

"Sometimes, your timing is a little off, and the fastball that's 95 mph, you see it at 98. Sometimes, the breaking balls look very tough, so it's hard to keep the timing, but you just have to keep working in batting practice and try to slow down the game a little bit."