Top-5 Blue Jays that deserved a longer Hall of Fame look
By Craig Borden
#1 Carlos Delgado
Best Ballot Year 3.8 %
Years on Ballot – 1
Carlos Delgado holds a special place in many younger Blue Jays fan’s hearts. He was the face of the team along with Roy Halladay through the late 90’s and early millennium. Delgado made his debut as a September call up in the 1993 season and then bounced up and down for a short while. Once he found a home in the field at first base, he became a regular player in 1996.
In that first full season he proceeded to reward the Jays with a .270 batting average and 25 homers while driving in 95 RBI. Delgado would become an offensive juggernaut that could not be stopped from that point on. Over the next 14 seasons he would drive in at least 90 RBIs in all but 2 of those years. He also hit at least 30 home runs each of those seasons with at least 90 RBIs while batting near .280.
Delgado is the current record holder in many of Toronto’s offensive stat categories. He currently tops the board in Runs, Doubles, Home Runs, RBIs, Walks, Slugging Percentage, and On-Base Percentage. For the stats that he is currently not leading he is within the top 10 in most categories that do not include stealing bases. Delgado is also the only player to hit four home runs in a game while with the Blue Jays. He accomplished the feat on a night that started off with him hitting his 300th career home run and he would end that night with 303. Delgado finally got a taste of post season baseball when he played with the Mets in 2006 and showed off in typical Del-Got-it! fashion. Through the 10 games he would bat .351 with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 11 RBI.
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Delgado was one of the most feared hitters of his generation and was deserving of the MVP award in 2003 that was stolen by Alex Rodriguez. Among the hardware that did make it to his shelves were 3 Silver Sluggers, a batting title, the 2000 Hank Aaron Award, 2000 Major League Player of the Year, and the 2006 Roberto Clemente award. He was also a 2-time All Star, and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting 4 times over his career.
Delgado’s career resume includes a .280 batting average with 483 doubles, 473 home runs, 1241 Runs, 1512 RBIs, .546 SLG, and an impressive .929 OPS
Comparable players that got more consideration for the Hall of Fame would be Hall of Famer Willie Stargell. Willie had a magnificent career and it would be hard to find someone that does not say he is Hall worthy. Interestingly enough, though, his career numbers are nearly identical to Delgado’s. The even more fun part is that Delgado produced the same #’s in 300 less games. Stargell’s career numbers are a .282 batting average, 423 doubles, 475 home runs, 1194 Runs, 1540 RBIs, .529 SLG, .889 OPS. Those numbers are pretty close.
The big difference between the two is the amount of hardware that Stargell took home which included an MVP award. The era Delgado played in also has a lot of talent at first base to compare him to, which hurt his chances. But regardless, Delgado was deserving of a better look, just like many on this countdown.