Despite not stepping to the plate at all in 2010, Carlos Delgado officially retired from Major League Baseball today. The long-time slugger owns a career .280/.383/.546 line with 473 HR, 1512 RBI, 1241 R, and 14 SB in seventeen seasons. More importantly–at least to Mets fans–Delgado’s .265/.361/.548 line with 38 HR, 114 RBI, and 89 R in 2006 helped the Mets reach the National League Championship Series, and his astounding .351/.442/.757 line with 4 HR, 11 RBI, and 8 R in 10 playoffs games almost pushed the Mets into the World Series.
Carlos Delgado was originally signed as a catcher by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1988. The right-handed hitter reported to Rookie-Ball at age 17, and it was pretty evident he’d become a star. Delgado had his first “Carlos Delgado” season in 1992, posting a .324/.402/.579 line with 30 HR, 100 RBI, and 83 R at Single-A+. By 1996, the Blue Jays told Delgado to drop the catcher’s mitt, and he became their starting first baseman/designated hitter. Even though he never won a MVP, Delgado had eight-consecutive thirty-plus home-run seasons for the Blue Jays, including three forty-plus seasons, and even knocked in 145 RBI and had a 1.019 OPS in 2003.
The Blue Jays granted Carlos Delgado free-agency after the 2004 season, and actually spurned the Mets’ offer to sign with the Florida Marlins. While the Marlins handed the big bopper a four-year, $52 million contract, they promptly traded Delgado after just a season to the Mets in exchange for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Grant Psomas. As popular as homegrown Mike Jacobs was, acquiring Delgado was a no-brainer. Along with his impact in 2006, the first baseman posted a career .267/.351/.506 line with 104 HR, 339 RBI, 271 R, and 5 SB in four seasons as a Met.
If Carlos Delgado were to be elected into the Hall of Fame, it would surely be as a Toronto Blue Jay. But while Delgado’s four seasons in orange and blue were towards the end of his career (and didn’t hold a candle to his Toronto-days), they were certainly extremely memorable years to Shea’s faithful.