Despite being a Blue Jays fan since the days of my infancy, I’ve owned only one jersey that has featured someone’s name (other than myself) stitched on the back of it.
Although the idea of having Alomar’s 12, Carter’s 29 or Stieb’s 37 in the collection is awfully enticing given the careers they put forth here in Toronto, I made it clear to myself that the only number I felt like wearing other than 77 would be Carlos Delgado’s 25.
On Sunday, the Blue Jays will honor their former slugger by adding his name to the clubs Level of Excellence in front of what is sure to be a packed house at SkyDome.
Toronto will be taking on Tampa Bay which should come as no surprise considering the fact that Delgado played arguably the best game of his 17 year MLB career vs this same team from St Petersburg.
On September 25th, 2003, Carlos Delgado would permanently entrench his name in the Blue Jays record books with a dominant performance vs the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Hovering around the .300 mark on the season, the king was penciled in to the familiar 4 spot between both Vernon Wells and 2002′s Rookie of the Year, Eric Hinske.
To the torment of the Devil Rays pitching staff, Delgado would morph into a 1 man wrecking crew as he would become the 5th American League hitter to launch 4 Home Runs in 1 game en route to driving in 6 in a 10-8 Blue Jays win.
No stranger to putting the hurt on Tampa Bay, the 4 long balls hit by Delgado would be the 28th -31′st of his career vs the Devil Rays. The Peurto Rico native would go on to hit 32 of his 472 MLB big flies off Tampa Bay pitching, outdone only by the 33 he put up against the New York Yankees which was no doubt aided by the short porch in the Bronx.
Aside from becoming the 1st and only Blue Jay to accomplish the feat, Delgado would also hit his 300th career big fly in his 1st At Bat while reaching the 40 Home Run Plateau for the 3rd and final time during his Career in the Show with his 3rd shot of the night in the 6th.
Starting the day with 135 RBI, the 6 put up by the Toronto 1st Baseman would allow him to shatter his 2000 mark of 137, leaving the 31 year old with 142 on the season, good for 1st place in franchise history.
Unfortunately, only 13 000 were on hand to witness this incredible feat although that number seems to be constantly rising with the amount of fans that claim to have been at SkyDome that Thursday night.
With seats going fast, Blue Jay fans look to ensure that Carlos Delgado will in fact receive the applause he deserved for thrashing Tampa Bay back on that late September night in 2003, let alone the appreciation for having done so much as a member of this franchise since being signed as a 16 year old Catcher back in 1988.
A more detailed look at the statistical side of Delgado’s career with the Blue Jays can be found here.