Montreal Expos manager Felipe Alou has a laugh whiile loosening up before the pitchers and catchers begin their first workout of spring training at the team's training facility in Jupiter

Canadian baseball HOF announces five to new class

Former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado has only foggy memories of his magical four-homer night in 2003. A nasty cold nearly forced him to skip the game altogether. Delgado struggled through batting practice before the Sept. 25 game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at SkyDome. He took some medicine and went to lie down on the trainer’s table. “I told the trainer, ’Wake me up at 10 to seven,”’ Delgado recalled Wednesday.

Former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado has only foggy memories of his magical four-homer night in 2003.

A nasty cold nearly forced him to skip the game altogether.

Delgado struggled through batting practice before the Sept. 25 game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at SkyDome. He took some medicine and went to lie down on the trainer’s table.

“I told the trainer, ’Wake me up at 10 to seven,”’ Delgado recalled Wednesday.

Batting cleanup that evening, the Blue Jays first baseman was groggy but soldiered on. Delgado told himself to just try to focus on the basics.

He got things started in his first at-bat by belting a three-run shot off Tampa Bay starter Jorge Sosa.

“I think the medicine really affected me because I saw every pitch right down the middle of the plate,” he said. “And when I look at the video, it was a curve ball down and away, it was a change-up down, and then by the time I went to the plate in the fourth at-bat, I kept telling myself, ’Don’t try to do too much, don’t try to hit another one because it’s not going to work.”’

After hitting a pair of solo shots, Delgado faced Lance Carter in the eighth inning with nobody on. He worked a 2-2 count and expected the Tampa Bay reliever to follow with a change-up.

Delgado guessed right and pounced, becoming the 15th major leaguer to hit four home runs in one game.

“The boys were giving me a hard time for flipping the bat,” he said. “I didn’t do it on purpose. I was just in la-la land.”

The performance in the 10-8 victory helped cap a tremendous season for Delgado, who finished second to Alex Rodriguez in American League most valuable player award voting that year. Delgado had 42 homers and 145 RBIs that season, one of the best in his 17-year big-league career.

He was rewarded for his accomplishments Wednesday as the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame named him to its Class of 2015. Delgado will be inducted on June 13 in St. Marys, Ont., along with former Canadian players Corey Koskie and Matt Stairs, longtime Montreal Expos manager Felipe Alou and sportswriter Bob Elliott.

“Each of our 2015 inductees has made significant contributions to the history of baseball in our country and they continue to be great ambassadors for the game,” Hall of Fame director of operations Scott Crawford said in a release. “We’re proud and excited to celebrate their careers in St. Marys this June.”

Delgado had eight straight 30-homer campaigns with Toronto and is the team’s all-time leader in home runs (336), RBIs (1,058), doubles (343), runs (889), total bases (2,786), slugging percentage (.556), extra-base hits (690) and walks (827).

Delgado, who also played for the Florida Marlins and New York Mets, finished his 17-year career with 473 home runs and 1,512 RBIs. He was added to the Blue Jays’ Level of Excellence in 2013.

“I’m very honoured and humbled to be selected into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,” he said. “This is unbelievable news. 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.”

Koskie, a native of Anola, Man., helped Minnesota reach the playoffs from 2002 through 2004 and had brief stints with the Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers over his nine-year big-league career. He also played for Canada at the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009.

Stairs, a native of Saint John, N.B., hit 265 homers over 19 seasons in the major leagues. He started his career with Montreal, spent parts of two seasons in Toronto and made several appearances on the national team.

Alou was part of the Montreal organization as a player, instructor or manager for 27 years. The three-time all-star had 2,101 career hits and spent parts of 10 seasons as Expos manager, winning the National League manager of the year in 1994.

Elliott, a native of Kingston, Ont., was a regular in the Expos’ press box until joining the Toronto Sun as a Blue Jays beat writer in 1987. He is currently the newspaper’s baseball columnist.

Just Posted

Alberta energy war room must avoid online morass, preaching to choir: experts

CALGARY — Tzeporah Berman only learned of her cameo appearance at an… Continue reading

Two dead, including one who police believe was a child, in Alberta house fire

PLAMONDON, Alta. — Two people, including one who police believe was a… Continue reading

CSIS destroyed secret file on Pierre Trudeau, stunning historians

OTTAWA — Canada’s spy service destroyed a Cold War dossier on Pierre… Continue reading

Premier refuses to back down on plan to scrap 18,000 immigration applications

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is holding firm on his plan to scrap… Continue reading

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Federal cabinet decision on fate of Trans Mountain pipeline due Tuesday

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s $4.5 billion gamble to buy the Trans… Continue reading

Skier, 22 dies after fall on Mount Haig near Castle Mountain Ski Resort

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — RCMP from the Pincher Creek, Alta., detachment are… Continue reading

4 years in, Trump fondly recalls Trump Tower campaign launch

NEW YORK — It was the escalator ride that would change history.… Continue reading

Massive protests draw apology from Hong Kong leadership

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that… Continue reading

Butterfly garden keeper manages to film large tarantula shedding exoskeleton

VICTORIA — A 20-centimetre tarantula capable of killing a bird has been… Continue reading

Telegraph-Journal wins 2018 Michener Award recognizing public-service journalism

OTTAWA — The Telegraph-Journal in New Brunswick has been named the winner… Continue reading

Victorious Raptors cancel their return to Toronto after becoming NBA champs

TORONTO — Some Raptors players returned to Toronto on Saturday night for… Continue reading

How a Montreal working-class neighbourhood’s activists changed Quebec and Canada

MONTREAL — The Pointe-St-Charles neighbourhood is isolated from the rest of Montreal… Continue reading

Most Read