Every kid dreams of The Moment: playing for the New York Yankees in the World Series, bottom of the twelfth, runners on base, two outs, and the manager looks your way. Jose Vizcaino lived the dream on October 12, 2000, when he singled home the winning run in Game One of the Subway Series. A person watching from home could listen closely and hear the cracking sound of the Mets’ fans’ breaking hearts as the ball landed safely in left field.
But aside from that moment of glory, Vizcaino was a utilityman and backup for most of his career, playing every position on the diamond except pitcher or catcher. His sure hands and strong arm meant that he always had a job, but his bat also carried some weight. While he entirely lacked pop (only 22 lifetime homers through the 2000 season), he was such a consistent slap hitter that he garnered his 1,000th hit against the Florida Marlins on July 14, 2000.
A .280 batting average and an league-leading .985 fielding percentage led to honors as the Mets’ Player of the Year in 1995, but as his career progressed, Vizcaino found himself fighting for a job wherever he went. With the Los Angeles Dodgers he competed with Alex Cora and Adrian Beltre. With the Yankees he was stuck behind Chuck Knoblauch and Derek Jeter. With the Houston Astros he competed with several rookies before finally losing out to Julio Lugo.