For 12 seasons, and some very lean years, Carlos Delgado was the face of the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, he will be recognized as one of the most celebrated members of the Blue Jays organization, becoming the 10th member of the Blue Jays Level of Excellence.
Delgado will receive his official induction on Sunday July 21, 2013, when the Blue Jays play host to the Tampa Bay Rays. In doing so, he will join Dave Stieb, George Bell, Joe Carter, Cito Gaston, Tony Fernandez, Pat Gillick, Tom Cheek, Roberto Alomar and Paul Beeston.
“This is a tremendous honour. When I became a Blue Jay I never thought an honour of this nature would be possible,” said Delgado, “I am grateful to the Blue Jays organization and feel truly honoured to receive this recognition.”
Over the course of his 12-year run with the Blue Jays, Delgado would set numerous club marks, including Home Runs, Doubles, RBI, Slugging Percentage, OPS, Runs, and Hit By Pitch. Those career marks are as follows:
Home Runs – 336
Doubles – 343
RBI - 1058
Slugging % – .556
OPS – .949
Runs – 889
Hit By Pitch – 122
However, Delgado was much more than just a strong hitter in the middle of the Blue Jays line-up, he was also an inspiring face of the community, something Paul Beeston still comments on.
“Not only was he one of the best hitters in club history, he was one of the finest first basemen of his generation. More importantly, Carlos was a tremendous ambassador for the Blue Jays organization and the city of Toronto. His fun-loving attitude was infectious and his tireless work in the community were truly his greatest assets.”
Delgado would play five more seasons outside of Toronto, spending one season with the Marlins and then four more with the Mets before a hip injury ended his career in 2009 at the age of 37. He finished as a lifetime .280 hitter, with a .929 OPS, 473 home runs, 1512 RBI, and a cumulative fWAR of 46.4.