IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Former MLB star Omar Vizquel accused of sexually harassing batboy

The former big league shortstop was named as a defendant along with the Chicago White Sox and the Birmingham Barons.
Birmingham Barons manager Omar Vizquel looks on during a game against the Chattanooga Lookouts on May 2, 2019, in Birmingham, Ala.
Omar Vizquel, then the manager of the Birmingham Barons, during a game against the Chattanooga Lookouts in Birmingham, Ala., on May 2, 2019. Mike Janes / Four Seam Images via AP file

Former major-league baseball star Omar Vizquel sexually harassed an autistic batboy when he was manager of a Chicago White Sox minor-league team, a federal lawsuit alleges.

The allegations stem from Vizquel's time as manager of the Birmingham Barons, a famed minor-league team that serves as a Class A affiliate of the White Sox, according to the complaint filed in the Northern District of Alabama.

The plaintiff alleged that Vizquel ordered him into the shower with him on Aug. 22, 2019, after a Barons game that day at Regions Field.

The lawsuit alleges that Vizquel was naked and handed the plaintiff, now 25, "a bar of soap and told him, 'Wash my damn back!'"

"Humiliated, intimidated and frightened of what would happen if he disobeyed," the plaintiff "complied with Vizquel's demand," the complaint said. "As he washed Vizquel's back, Vizquel's hands were in front of his body near the level of his waist."

The back-washing lasted a minute before Vizquel turned around, the lawsuit says.

"Vizquel's penis was fully erect. He made no effort to hide his erection ... rather, he proudly displayed it," the lawsuit says.

Moments later, the batboy told two other Barons employees, who are not defendants, what had just happened, and they laughed at him, according to the complaint.

An attorney for the Barons declined to comment Tuesday.

The White Sox said in a statement Tuesday that they took action after they were informed of the allegations.

"After first learning of an alleged incident in late August 2019, the Chicago White Sox conducted an internal investigation that resulted in the termination of the organization's relationship with Omar Vizquel," the statement said. "Because this is active litigation, at this time the White Sox will not comment further regarding the allegations included in this lawsuit."

The White Sox announced in late 2019 that Vizquel would no longer coach in the organization, but they did not say why at the time.

Vizquel, 54, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday at publicly listed phone numbers and email addresses for him.

Vizquel, who broke in to the big leagues in 1989, had a 24-season career with the Seattle Mariners, the Cleveland Indians, the San Francisco Giants, the Texas Rangers, the White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays.

He was an average hitter but a brilliant defender, winning 11 Gold Glove awards as one of the game's best-fielding shortstops. His flashy glove made him a borderline Hall of Fame candidate.

Vizquel had been manager of the Tijuana Bulls in the Mexican Baseball League before he was let go two weeks ago.

Vizquel's estranged wife accused him of domestic violence late last year. He denied those allegations.