26 March 2011

el viz, double dipper

[this is the twelfth installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, don zimmerrafael landestoy, dave hansen, and hideo nomo.]

jose vizcaino, who celebrates his 43rd birthday today, debuted in the big leagues as a dodger in 1989.  he played in a total of 44 games (matching his jersey number) for the blue over the course of the 1989 and 1990 seasons before he was traded to the cubs.  i remember thinking that the dodgers were essentially choosing between el viz and jose offerman to be their shortstop for the next decade.  they went with offerman.  here's vizcaino's 1991 donruss card to document his initial turn with the dodgers.
after a few seasons in chicago, vizcaino was sent to the ny metropolitans (as seen on this 1995 topps card)
the mets eventually moved him to second base, and then traded him (with jeff kent) to cleveland for carlos baerga during the 1996 season.  vizcaino helped the tribe get to the alds that year (his first trip to the postseason) and then was traded (again with kent) to the giants following the season.  after one season in san francisco (and another trip to the lcs), vizcaino returned to the dodgers as a free agent.

here he is on a 2000 pacific crown collection card, showing the blue jerseys that davey johnson thought would be a good idea to wear on occasion. 
i admit, while i own one of these jerseys, i do not condone the use of them by the players - especially at dodger stadium.  it's not something the dodgers should do.  while i'm on the jersey topic, vizcaino is wearing the manny mota heroes patch, although you can't really make it out too well.

the second time around, vizcaino was used as a backup infielder.  he stayed in la for the 1998 and 1999 seasons, plus a couple of months of the 2000 season before being traded to the yankees for jim leyritz.  vizcaino wound up winning a world series ring that year, and then went on to help the astros get to the postseason in 3 of the next 5 seasons.  he also double dipped with the giants, but we won't talk about that.

in all, vizcaino hit .250 as a dodger in 245 games, none of which were in the postseason.  in between his tours of duty with the dodgers, he hit .273 in 863 games, plus a couple of postseason trips.
these days, vizcaino is a special assistant in the dodgers' front office.  he was kind enough to sign and return a few of his dodger cards for me, including the 1991 donruss card shown at the top of the post
along with a 1999 topps card (dp turn!)
and his 2000 topps card (again with the mota patch)
here's to you jose, thanks and feliz cumpleanos as well!

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