Carlos Delgado: Excellent enough for the Level of Excellence?

Image from CityNews Toronto

On April 13th 2011, Carlos Delgado officially retired from Major League Baseball. The 38 year-old Puerto Rico native had spent 17 seasons in the big leagues, accumulating very impressive rate and counting statistics. Delgado spent 11 years with the Blue Jays, and set a number of club records. These include: home runs (336), RBI (1058), walks (827), slugging percentage (556%), OPS (949%) runs (889), total bases (2786), doubles (343), extra base hits (690), and home runs per at bat (14.9). Delgado also finished 2nd in MVP voting in 2003. These stats alone make it pretty obvious that Delgado was one of the best Jays position players of all time, my question is: Should Carlos Delgado be honoured on the Jays level of excellence?

There are four other position players on the level of excellence, and I will take a look at their Blue Jay careers in relation to Delgado’s.

George Bell:

Blue Jay Career:

GP 1181/ AVG 286/ OBP 325/ SLG 486/ H 1294/ HR 202/ RBI 740/ 2B 237/ 3B 32/ R 641

George Bell was an excellent player for the Jays in the 80’s. He was awarded the Silver Slugger award three times at DH (85, 86, 87), and the MVP award in 87. He held the club single season home run record at 47 until Jose Bautista hit 54 in 2010. Bell was also named the Jays team MVP 4 times.

Joe Carter:

Blue Jay Career:

GP 1039/ AVG 257/ OBP 308/ SLG 473/ H 1051/ HR 203/ RBI 736/ 2B 218/ 3B 28/ R 578

Joe Carter won two World Series Championships with the Jays- including hitting the walk-off home run in 1993 to clinch the series. He was awarded the Silver Slugger award twice (91, 92) in right field, and was a five-time all-star for the Jays.

Tony Fernandez:

Blue Jay Career:

GP 1450/ AVG 297/ OBP 353/ SLG 412/ H 1583/ HR 60/ RBI 613/ 2B 291/ 3B 72/ R 704/ SB 172/ CS 86

The franchise leader in games played and hits was also a dynamic short stop. His defensive prowess is exemplified by the four consecutive Gold Glove awards he earned from 86-89. A member of the 93’ World Series team, Fernandez was also selected to 4 all-star teams while a member of the Jays.

Roberto Alomar:

Blue Jays Career:

GP 703/ AVG 307/ OBP 382/ SLG 451/ H 832/ HR 55/ RBI 342/ 2B 152/ 3B 36 R 451/ SB 206/ CS 46

This summer Roberto Alomar will become the first player enshrined at Coopers Town wearing a Blue Jay cap. He was a member of both World Series teams, and holds the career mark for batting average at 307. Alomar was a Gold Glove winner and an all-star in each of his 5 Blue Jay seasons.

Carlos Delgado:

Blue Jay Career:

GP 1423/ AVG 282/ OBP 392/ SLG 556/ H 1413/ HR 336/ RBI 1058/ 2B 343/ 3B 11/ R 889

It is clear by the numbers, that Carlos Delgado is the best hitting Blue Jay ever. When you take into consideration the club records listed above, his 2000 Hank Aaron Award, his 3 Silver Slugger awards, and his outstanding commitment to philanthropy, it seems like a no-brainer to me to have Delgado’s name up on the level of excellence.

What do you think?

Should Carlos Delgado be honored on the level of excellence?

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-SB

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Topics: Carlos Delgado, George Bell, Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar, Tony Fernandez

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  • onomeister

    The way Rivera was hitting till now (not including the last couple of games), the Jays should have given Delgado a shot at DH-ing this year. Let’s hope Rivera is finally out of his slump! It’s funny how they are giving so much more time for Rivera to bounce out of his horrible slump, compared to the very little time they gave Frank Thomas to get out of his before they benched him then got rid of him…

    • Scott Barber

      It would have been great if Delgado had been healthy enough to return to the Jays. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem as though it was possible.

  • George

    Absolutely! The big guy carried The Blue Jays on his back through the dark years, and the only reason he wasn’t an all-star more often is because The Jays weren’t exactly tearing it up during his time with the club.

  • Steve

    Absolutely. Without question, Delgado is the best offensive player to spend a significant portion of his career with the Jays. I’d also like to throw another name out for consideration in Fred McGriff. Any thoughts? I know he only played a few years in a Jays uniform, but so did Carter.

  • Fungo Freddy

    Definitely the numbers justify it. A very likeable player who seemed to enjoy playing the game. Put the name on the wall!

  • Theo_Adorno

    Certainly the numbers are there for Carlos. Additionally, Delgado was a thoughtful, intelligent, and prinicpled man. His stand against yankee imperialism post 9/11 was courageous and insprational.
    His inclusion on the level of excellence would appear to be a no brainer except for one thing: Every member of the level of excellence was involved in a divisional or world series championship. Perhaps the level of excellence should be reserved for champions not great guys with awesome numbers.
    For this reason I say no to McGriff (I would rather see Willie Upshaw or Olreud) and hell no to J-Mac.

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