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Pretty good deal

Posted by Bob Ryan, Globe Staff  June 17, 2007 06:44 PM

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How's this for a good trade?

On Dec. 20, 1993 the Cleveland Indians traded Felix Fermin, Reggie Jefferson, and cash to the Seattle Mariners for Omar Vizquel.

Fermin was gone at the end of the 1996, having accumulated 186 hits as an unproductive member of the team. Jefferson, an OK hitter but nothing special, lasted until 1999, and he did have two pretty nice years with the Red Sox: 1996 (.347-19-74) and 1997 (.319-13-67). I'm not sure what the Mariners did with the cash.

Omar Vizquel has built a Hall of Fame resume. That trade was 1,993 hits, 333 stolen bases and, most importantly, 10 Gold Gloves ago. He has been overlooked because his prime happened to have dovetailed with the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, the early Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, etc., in what is, without question, The Golden Age of Shortstops.

But he has been a magnificent player in his own right.

What a wonderful fielder he has been. His barehand stuff alone makes for a tremendous highlight package. Last year, at age 39, he became the oldest man ever to win a Gold Gove Award, and he did it at the sport's most athletic position.

But he's not hitting very much and the end might well be near. He has always been a Class Act, and it has been a privilege and an honor to welcome him back to Fenway this weekend.

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