Monday, February 8, 2010
Omar Vizquel to wear Luis Aparicio's 11
The Chicago White Sox have unretired Luis Aparicio's No. 11, which will be worn by Omar Vizquel.
Aparicio is the only Venezuelan to be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. Vizquel, also a native of Venezuela, was acquired by the White Sox in November. He's worn No. 13 in the past, but that number currently is used by manager Ozzie Guillen. Vizquel's decision to wear No. 11 is a nod to his countryman.
"For me, it's like a huge celebration, trying to keep his name alive and trying to spread the word of Venezuelan shortstops," Vizquel said Monday during a conference call. "I think every kid now -- the new generation of shortstops in Venezuela -- has to know about Luis Aparicio and everything that he means to us in this game."
"If there is one player who I would like to see wear my uniform number with the White Sox, it is Omar Vizquel," Aparicio said in a statement. "I have known Omar for a long time. Along with being an outstanding player, he is a good and decent man."
It is the second time the White Sox have unretired a number after Harold Baines' No. 3 was given back to him when he rejoined the team in 1996 and 2003 for his third and final stint with the team.
"Ever since I signed with the White Sox, the first thing Ozzie Guillen said [was]: 'You can forget about 13, that's going to be my number,'" Vizquel said. "He knows that's my number and I really would love to wear it. But I think what Ozzie Guillen has done for the Chicago White Sox, winning them a championship and all the years that he played there, No. 13 already has a name. ... As long as a Venezuelan is wearing it, I'm pretty happy with it."
Vizquel is an 11-time Gold Glove infielder.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.