Next month the Hall of Fame will dedicate !Viva Baseball! an exhibit celebrating baseball in the Caribbean Basin countries. Latino Hall of Famers like Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda and Tany Perez will be featured in the exhibit. Same as a series of present day stars.
Of such today’s luminaries one of them is Aguadilla’s favorite son Carlos Delgado.
Does this will be his first staple in Cooperstown and turn to be a permanent one.
There is no doubt Roberto Alomar will be the next boricua in the pavilion. No matter how much discussion there have been after 35 years of the role of the designated hitter Edgar Martinez should be the first honored.
Ivan Rodriguez is enjoying another summer in the diamond but no discussion there should be when he finally decides to hang his shin guards and mask that he will be a first ballot shoo-in.
The present New York Met in 17 seasons, year after year, has proven all baseball people his star status. No matter originally a catcher, he was switched to first base. His bat has done all the talking.
Delgado, 36, holds the all-time home run and RBI record among Puerto Rican players. If healthy, this season he could be the fifth Latino to join the home run 500-Club. Already he is among only six Latinos with over 1,500 RBI’s in a career.
Delgado is the fourth player in the majors history to hit at least 30 homers in 10 consecutive seasons, and he amassed 100 RBI or more in seven of his ten full seasons. In the days as a Blue Jay, those numbers were fueled with 6 consecutive seasons with over 30 homers and 100 RBI’s.
Those amazing numbers and many others still hold several Toronto’s single-season and career records. Moreover, it was in Canada he won the 2000 Hank Aaron award and 3 Silver Slugger honors.
He added to his hardware, the 2006 Roberto Clemente Award due to his great charity work outside the baseball fields.
And this is just a summary.
His actual resume very well compares with the career of such greats first baseman as Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell. Delgado says he does not have control of how writers look to him at present and how he will be foreseen in the future.
Probably is true but if healthy Delgado continues racking numbers the votes for Cooperstown will be by them. Probably we will know his induction by 2020.
This column was also published as a special for The Puerto Rico Daily Sun / MLB Commentary