40 year-old shortstop Omar Vizquel would like to play in 2008 and 2009, so the Giants will meet with his agent today to talk extension. I wanted to get an idea of just how rare this type of thing is, so I finally checked out the Play Index tool over at Baseball-Reference. It is awesome.
How many guys in modern Major League history have played even 50 games in a season at shortstop at age 40 or older? The answer is four: Barry Larkin, Luke Appling, Ozzie Smith, and Honus Wagner. Appling and Wagner each had three such seasons. The latter three are already in the Hall of Fame, and Larkin stands a good chance. Of those eight seasons, only one involved an OPS below .720. Makes sense – you don’t last that long if you’re Mike Caruso. Although Mike’s 1998 season had us all fooled.
Then, since I was bored, I decided to find the best single-season qualifying ERA by a pitcher who weighed 250 or more pounds. Turned out to be Jeff D’Amico’s 2000 season at 2.66. See, you learn something every day.