Hall of Fame Ballot will see Blue Jays great Carlos Delgado making first appearance
The 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was released by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) on Monday morning, and as expected, the headline news will be focused on the trio of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz, all of whom enter the ballots with their first year of eligibility. However, the Toronto Blue Jays also have a notable candidate in his first year of eligibility that will get some serious consideration.
Blue Jays great Carlos Delgado officially has his name appearing on the BBWAA ballot for the first time, having been away from the game for the requisite five seasons. Delgado retired from baseball officially on April 13, 2011, but played his final Major League game on May 10, 2009 after undergoing repeated hip surgeries to repair a torn labrum.
Delgado will face an interesting selection process, one that has been muddied of late due to the presence of several suspected or admitted users of performance-enhancing drugs. That in turn has had an effect on other hitters who never tested positive or never had a whisper spoken about usage, condemnation based on assumption due the only common thread: the time period in which they played.
For Carlos Delgado, the performance on the field over the course of his 17-year career certainly merits consideration for baseball’s ultimate honor. A career .280 hitter with a .383 on-base percentage, .546 slugging percentage, 473 home runs, and 1512 RBI, Carlos Delgado was one of the most feared hitters in baseball during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. His .553 slugging mark during the 2000’s ranks 14th in baseball, his wRC+ of 141 ranks 13th, his 324 home runs 5th most, and his .267 ISO placed 12th during the decade.
Delgado used those numbers to become a perennial MVP candidate, as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Marlins, and New York Mets. He would place in the top 10 of MVP balloting four different time, peaking at second in 2003 to a now tainted Alex Rodriguez. However, Delgado’s finest season was in 2000, when he raked an impressive .344/.470/.664 with 41 home runs, 57 doubles, 137 RBI, and 115 runs scored.
He’ll face tough competition from a hitter’s perspective, with holdovers Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell among the leading vote getters from last season’s ballot. Additionally, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Edgar Martinez also linger in the background for various reasons.
To this day, Delgado still holds many Blue Jays team records, including Home Runs, RBI, Slugging Percentage, OPS, Walks, Runs, and Doubles among others. He was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence on July 21, 2013, becoming the 10th member of the group.