Carlos Delgado


Carlos Delgado

Infobox MLB player



width=300
name=Carlos Delgado
position=First Baseman
team=New York Mets
number=21
bats=Left
throws=Right
birthdate=birth date and age|1972|6|25
birthplace=Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
debutdate=October 1
debutyear=1993
debutteam=Toronto Blue Jays
statyear=September 21, 2008
stat1label=Batting average
stat1value=.280
stat2label=Home runs
stat2value=469
stat3label=Runs batted in
stat3value=1,489
teams=
*Toronto Blue Jays (by|1993-by|2004)
*Florida Marlins (by|2005)
*New York Mets (by|2006-Present)
awards=
* 2x All-Star selection (2000, 2003)
* 3x Silver Slugger Award winner (1999, 2000, 2003)
* 2006 Roberto Clemente Award
* 2000 AL Hank Aaron Award

Carlos Juan Delgado Hernández (born June 25, 1972 in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) is a Major League Baseball first baseman for the New York Mets. He began his Major League career with the Toronto Blue Jays. With over 450 home runs, he holds the all-time home run and RBI records among Puerto Rican players.

Personal life

Delgado was born to Carlos "Cao" Delgado and Carmen Digna Hérnandez. He grew up in the "El Prado" section of Aguadilla.cite book| title=Aguadillano de pura cepa: Apegado a sus raíces| author=Luis Santiago Arce| publisher=El Nuevo Día| location=Puerto Rico| chapter=Deportes| language=Spanish| date=2007-09-19| pages=119] There, he attended elementary school alongside his three siblings. Both his father, "Don Cao," and his grandfather, Asdrúbal "Pingolo" Delgado, were well-known figures in the town. Carlos has said that this made him feel "protected," but that it also demanded that he had to behave properly.

Carlos attended Agustín Stahl Middle School and José de Diego High School, from which he graduated in 1989. Delgado has expressed his strong feelings of pride in being an "Aguadillano", noting everything he holds dear is found in the municipality, and his off-season house is located there. He developed friendships with several of the town's inhabitants, with whom he began playing baseball in the little leagues. Delgado married Betzaida García who is also from Aguadilla.

Baseball career

Toronto Blue Jays (1993-2004)

In his senior year, several Major League organizations (Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays) saw his potential and attempted to sign him. He chose the Blue Jays, and made his Major League debut with the team during the 1993 season. Though he didn't play in the 1993 World Series, he was awarded a World Series ring.

Originally a catcher, he switched to first base and became one of the most productive sluggers in the Major Leagues. A two-time All Star, in 2000 and 2003, Delgado holds several Blue Jays single-season and career records. He won the Hank Aaron and "The Sporting News'" Player of the Year awards in 2000, and the Silver Slugger Award in 1999, 2000, and 2003. Delgado is only the fourth player in Major League history to hit at least 30 home runs in 10 consecutive seasons, and he amassed 100 RBI or more in seven of his ten full seasons.

On September 25, 2003, in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Delgado became the 15th Major Leaguer to hit four home runs in one game. He hit a three-run home run in the first inning, then led off the fourth, sixth and eighth innings with solo shots. In the 2003 season, Delgado hit 42 home runs and led the Majors with 145 RBI; he came in second for the American League MVP Award. He was named AL Player of the Week on September 30, 2003 and again on September 7, 2004. [cite web| url=http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_press_release.jsp?ymd=20030930&content_id=552163&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp|date=2003-09-30| title=Toronto's Carlos Delgado named American League Pepsi Player of the Week| accessdate=2007-05-27] [cite web|url=http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_press_release.jsp?ymd=20040907&content_id=850145&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp| date=2004-09-07| title=Toronto's Carlos Delgado named American League Player of the Week| accessdate=2007-05-27]

Following the 2004 season, Delgado became a free agent, and was pursued by the Baltimore Orioles, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. The Blue Jays were not interested in re-signing him, due to payrollconstraints.

Florida Marlins (2005)

On January 25, 2005, Delgado chose to sign with the Marlins, signing a four-year contract worth a reported $52 million. [ [http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/fla/news/fla_news.jsp?ymd=20050125&content_id=934352&vkey=news_fla&fext=.jsp Delgado chooses Marlins] ] He made a successful transition to the National League, with a .301 batting average, .399 on-base percentage, 33 home runs, and 115 RBIs in 2005. (At the same time, he shared the major league lead in errors for a first baseman, with 14.)

Following the 2005 season, the Marlins performed one of their periodic salary-cutting manoeuvers. In the "market correction," they unloaded some of their higher paid players. On November 23, 2005, the Marlins sent Delgado and $7 million to the Mets for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit and Grant Psomas.

New York Mets (2006-present)

Delgado responded well as the feared cleanup hitter for the Mets, hitting 38 home runs and driving in 114 runs. With Delgado hitting between fellow Puerto Rican Carlos Beltran and star third baseman David Wright, the Mets had the best record in the National League in by|2006, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, 4-3. At season's end, with 407, Delgado was tied with Duke Snider for 41st place for lifetime home runs.

Carlos Delgado had early struggles in the 2007 season, with his batting average falling below .200 in April. His numbers improved as the season progressed. On May 9, 2007, he hit a home run into McCovey Cove during a game against the San Francisco Giants, becoming the only visiting player to have hit three splash home runs at AT&T Park. Delgado ended the season tied with Cal Ripken, Jr. for 37th place on the all-time career home run list with 431.

During spring training 2008, Delgado was diagnosed with a hip impingement, however, the Mets decided to keep him on the active roster. As in the previous year, Delgado began the season in an offensive slump with a .204 batting average in April, and hitting just three home runs. And once again his stats improved as the season continued. In May, his batting average increased to .235 with five home runs. On June 15, 2008, Delgado broke Juan González's record for most runs batted in by a Puerto Rican player. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/accion_deportiva/¡otra_gesta_para__delgado!/201063| title=¡Otra gesta para Delgado!| publisher=Primera Hora| language=Spanish| date=2008-06-16| accessdate=2008-06-17] On June 27, Delgado set a new Mets record with 9 RBIs in an interleague game versus the New York Yankees, breaking Dave Kingman's club record of 8. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/accion_deportiva/delgado_tuvo_una_tarde_bestial/205420| title=Delgado tuvo una tarde bestial| publisher=Primera Hora| language=Spanish| date=2008-06-28| accessdate=2008-06-28] In the final game before the All-Star game Delgado hit his 17th home run of the season. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/accion_deportiva/mets_siguen_imparables/209896| title=Mets siguen imparables| publisher=Primera Hora| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-14| accessdate=2008-07-14] Between June and July his batting average improved, raising to .260 with 19 home runs. Between July 23-31, Delgado hit four home runs. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/accion_deportiva/las_cosas_han_caido_en_su_sitio/212992| title=“Las cosas han caído en su sitio”| author=Lester Jiménez| publisher="Primera Hora"| date=2008-07-23| accessdate=2008-07-31] [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/XStatic/primerahora/template/nota.aspx?n=213908| title=Delgado sigue su verano caliente| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-25| accessdate=2008-07-31] [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/XStatic/primerahora/template/nota.aspx?n=214219| title=Enorme despertar| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-26| accessdate=2008-07-31] [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/XStatic/primerahora/template/nota.aspx?n=215096| title=Demasiado Delgado| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-30| accessdate=2008-07-31]

On August 21, 2008 against the Atlanta Braves, Delgado went 5 for 5 with 3 singles, 3 RBI, a double, and a walk-off RBI single scoring David Wright in the bottom of the ninth off the glove of left fielder Omar Infante. It was the first time he had gone 5 for 5 in 10 years. The Mets swept a three games series from the Braves.

On August 25, 2008 against the Houston Astros, Delgado fired two 3-run homers, one to left field and the other to deep center field, to take the Mets to victory in the finale of the series 9-1. [cite book| title=Dos jonrones y seis RBI’s para Delgado| publisher="El Vocero"| language=Spanish| chapter=Deportes| date=2008-08-26]

On September 7, he became the third Mets player in history to have at least 65 RBIs in a 65 game stretch during a season.

On September 9, he tied Dave Kingman's record of most multi home run games during a season as a Met with 7.

Delgado notched his 2,000th career hit on September 21, 2008 against the Atlanta Braves.

ocial activism

Like his hero, Roberto Clemente, Delgado is a well-known humanitarian and peace activist, and has been open about his political beliefs. As part of the Navy-Vieques protests, Delgado was actively opposed to the use of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico as a bombing target practice facility by the United States Department of Defense, until bombing was halted in 2003. He is also against the occupation of Iraq. In the 2004 season, Delgado protested the war by silently staying in the dugout during the playing of "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch. Delgado does not make a public show of his beliefs, and even his teammates were not aware of his views until a story was published in July 2004 in the "Toronto Star". Delgado was quoted as saying "It’s a very terrible thing that happened on September 11. It's (also) a terrible thing that happened in Afghanistan and Iraq, ... I just feel so sad for the families that lost relatives and loved ones in the war. But I think it's the stupidest war ever." The story was the subject of a media frenzy, mostly in New York, where on July 21, 2004, as was anticipated, Delgado was booed (by Yankee fans) for his passive protest during a game at Yankee Stadium [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5481503/ Yankee fans boo Delgado for Iraq war protest - Baseball - MSNBC.com ] ] . When Delgado lined out in the top of the seventh inning, Yankee rooters chanted "USA, USA" even though Delgado is a U.S. citizen. Delgado had explained that the playing of "God Bless America" had come to be equated with a war in which he didn't believe. In a "New York Times" interview, Delgado said this is what he believed in, and "It takes a man to stand up for what he believes."

After being traded to the Mets, in a conciliatory measure, Delgado now stands during the singing of "God Bless America."

Among other charity work, Delgado is well-known for his generous visits to hospitals in his hometown where, on Three Kings Day, he brings toys to hospitalized children. In 2006, he joined Puerto Rico's Senate President in co-sponsoring a massive Three Kings gift-giving effort in the town of Loiza. Delgado started his own non-profit organization, "Extra Bases" to assist island youth. In 2007, Delgado purchased (and gave away as a gift) video conference equipment to allow his hometown's Buen Samaritano Hospital to establish a regular link with a hospital in Boston in order to allow for remote diagnoses through telemedicine.

For his efforts, Delgado was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 2006. The award goes to the player in baseball who best exemplifies humanitarianism and sportsmanship, and was named after Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente in 1973. Prior to the 2008 season of the LBPPR, Delgado was involved in a initiative to provide economic help to the Indios de Mayagüez team. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/acciondeportiva/delgado_tendra_la_carta_de_garantia_que_solicito/204378| title=Delgado tendrá la carta de garantía que solicitó| publisher=Primera Hora| language=Spanish| date=2008-06-25| accessdate=2008-06-27]

Career statistics

small|Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through September 28, 2008.cite web| url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/delgaca01.shtml | title=Carlos Delgado Statistics| work=Baseball-Reference| accessdate=2008-09-05]

Through 2006, Delgado is the all-time leader for interleague play RBI with 131, and second all-time in home runs with 43.

Delgado is the most recent player to hit 4 home runs in a game. His immediate predecessor is Shawn Green, a former teammate with both the Blue Jays and the Mets, and a close friend.

ee also

* Afro-Puerto Ricans
* List of Major League Baseball Home Run Records
* List of Major League Baseball doubles records
* Top 500 home run hitters of all time
* List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
* List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
* List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
* List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
* List of Major League Baseball doubles champions
* Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game
* MLB hitters with four home runs in one game

References

External links

* [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051219/zirin The Silencing of Carlos Delgado] An article about Carlos Delgado's stance on the Iraqi War in the The Nation


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