Carlos Delgado is the greatest Blue Jay in club history.
If you were growing up & following the Jays during the early 2000’s like I was, you probably agree with the previous statement. From 1996 until 2004, Delgado owned Toronto. An offensive powerhouse, the long time Blue Jays 1st baseman had 8 consecutive seasons of 30+ HR’s, 6 straight seasons of 100+ RBI and frequently found himself atop the American Leagues leader boards in On Base Percentage.
I was 13 in 2000. Having both watched the Blue Jays and played this game since I could remember, I was only beginning to understand the statistical side to Baseball. What Carlos Delgado did between the months of April and October of that year was single handedly the strongest raw performance I have ever witnessed on a baseball diamond.
.344 (Batting Average. Good for 2nd highest seasons total in Blue Jays history)
.470 (On Base Percentage)
115 (Number of Runs Scored)
41 (Number of Home Runs)
137 (Number of Runs Batted In)
711 (Total of Plate Appearances)
162 (Number of games played)
7.5 (Wins Above Replacement)
Without question, Delgado’s 2000 campaign is the greatest single offensive season put forth by a member of the Blue Jays since their inception in 1977. Personally, I still get blown away when I see these totals and although he would later top his Run, RBI and HR totals in 2003, 2000 stands alone as his greatest overall year in the MLB.
When his career with Toronto came to an end following the 2004 season, Delgado would leave the team having set franchise records in 11 of the 19 categories listed in the Blue Jays Media Guide. Page 272 of the 2012 guide practically reads as Carlos Delgado’s Greatest hits as the 3 time Silver Slugger ranks #1 in the following all-time records.
Games played as a 1st baseman (1168)
Slugging Percentage (.556)
Extra Base Hits (690)
Home Runs (336)
Intentional Walks (128)
Hit By Pitch (122)
Total Bases (2786)
Delgado will join a list of Blue Jays greats including Dave Stieb, Tony Fernandez and Roberto Alomar when his name is affixed to the Toronto’s Level of Excellence this July in what is sure to be a moving ceremony.
Personally, I believe that Delgado put forth a career worthy of an induction into Cooperstown and I know for a fact that he will join the legends within the walls of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. In time, Delgado’s 25 should find a place next to Alomar’s 12 that now hangs from the rafters at SkyDome as Toronto should strongly consider retiring the slugging 1st baseman’s number following his appearance under the 500’s.