Barely a month after being unceremoniously dumped from the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot after receiving just 21 votes, former All-Star slugger Carlos Delgado will be enshrined in a different Hall of Fame. On Wednesday the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announced its 2015 class and it is headlined by Delgado, who spent 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Back in January Delgado received just 3.8 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America and failed to meet the threshold to remain on the ballot for another year. That led ESPN’s Jayson Stark to name him the “best player in history to get booted off the Hall of Fame ballot after his first year.”
“Of all the victims of this messed up voting system, he’s the biggest. This was his first year on the ballot. And his last.
He showed up on the ballot with his 473 homers and .929 career OPS. And 21 votes later, he was waving adios.
It wasn’t so long ago that we’d have looked at a player like Carlos Delgado and said: “He’s a Hall of Famer.” But sadly, thanks to the Rule of 10 and the way we devalue all the numbers in the era he played in, we now have to look at him and say something else:
Thankfully for Delgado and Canadian baseball fans, the BBWAA’s reach does not extend into Canada. In fact the Canadian Hall of Fame is full of former stars deemed not good enough by the BBWAA. The list of inductees includes former Montreal Expos star Tim Raines, 1993 World Series hero Joe Carter, and just about everyone else who played for the Blue Jays during the early 1990s.
Delgado is the Blue Jays all-time leader in home runs, runs batted in, doubles, runs scored, slugging percentage and offensive WAR. The honour was not lost on the native of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
“I’m very honoured and humbled to be selected into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,” Delgado said in a statement. “I always say that you do not play the game for the awards, but if at the end of the day, you get that recognition from your fans and peers, it means a lot. And this is extra special to me because of the relationship that I have with the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans all across Canada.”
Joining Delgado at the 2015 induction ceremony is longtime Expos manager Felipe Alou, baseball’s all-time pinch-hit home run leader Matt Stairs, and reporter Bob Elliott, who won the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2012. In another display of Canada’s kind and giving nature, former Minnesota Twins third baseman Corey Koskie will also be inducted.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is located in St. Marys, Ontario – a six-hour drive from Cooperstown, NY – and is worth the trip for baseball aficionados. The Hall of Fame inducts players and builders who are Canadian citizens or have “done something significant for the game of baseball in Canada.”
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