It’s stretch run time in the MLB, but for one Chicago White Sox veteran, it’s stretching that has kept his motor running for 20-plus seasons in the Bigs.
At 43 years old, White Sox utility infielder Omar Vizquel credits pre- and post-game stretching for his longevity. “Ever since I was 20 years old, I very rarely missed a pre-game stretch,” says the 11-time Gold Glove winner. “I stretch with a lot of intensity. You see (players) stretch nowadays and they don’t have the energy. They don’t put any effort into it.”
As of today, Vizquel has played in 2,837 games during his Major League career. He is the all-time leader in games played for a shortstop, and he currently leads the Majors in most games played among active players. “It takes a lot of hours and experience to know your body and to be in the place I am today,” he says.
Vizquel first assumed the utility role with the San Francisco Giants in 2008, the first season since 1989 that he wasn’t an everyday player. Up until ’08, he had played less than 100 games a season only three times. That’s durability.
Learn from your elders and check out the stretching routine Vizquel and the White Sox use during the season.