My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories:
• Carlos Delgado, who was announced as one of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2015 inductees on Wednesday, has proven once again that he’s a classier guy than me. In 2003, Delgado belted 42 home runs and led the American League in RBI (145) and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.019), but finished second to Alex Rodriguez, who has since admitted to using performance enhancing drugs that season, in the American League MVP voting. In the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s conference call on Wednesday, Delgado was asked if he felt he deserved the 2003 MVP Award given A-Rod’s drug use. “I don’t know if that’s the proper way to look at it,” responded Delgado. “Everyone is entitled to do what they want and do with their careers what they want. My numbers were there. I played the game the right way. I played the game clean. I came up short. I was second . . . People who know the game understand what I did, what it means and at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing to me.”
• This year’s Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame class will be one of its strongest ever. Matt Stairs (Fredericton, N.B.), Corey Koskie (Anola, Man.), long-time Montreal Expos manager Felipe Alou and legendary baseball scribe Bob Elliott (Kingston, Ont.) will be honoured alongside Delgado. The ceremony will take place on June 13 in St. Marys, Ont. For more information, you can follow this link.
• If you’ve ever wanted to own a 1992 or 1993 Toronto Blue Jays World Series ring, here’s your chance. Gene Tenace, the Blue Jays bench coach on those teams, has decided to sell some of the awards and memorabilia from his baseball career. SCP Auctions in Laguna Niguel, Calif., will be in charge of the sale which will take place from April 8 to April 25. You can read more about the auction here.
• Dave Bergman, who played nine of his 17 big league seasons with the Detroit Tigers, passed away on Monday of bile duct cancer at the age of 61 in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. One of my first baseball memories is of Bergman’s epic, 13-pitch at bat in the bottom of the 10th inning against Blue Jays reliever Roy Lee Jackson on June 4, 1984 at Tiger Stadium. On the 13th pitch, Bergman hit a walk-off, three-run home run. You can watch video of that at bat here. Bergman is survived by his wife, Cathy, and three children, Troy, Bria and Erica. You can leave online condolences here.
• I’ve been running a “Baseball Quote of the Day” feature on the Cooperstowners in Canada Facebook page and today’s quote is from former Montreal Expos left-hander Bill Lee, who always seems to have something interesting to say. “You have a left and you have a right. The left side controls the right half of your body, and the right side controls the left half,” he told a Sports Illustrated reporter in April 1980. “Therefore, left-handers are the only people in their right mind.”
• This week’s trivia question: With Wednesday’s announcement that Matt Stairs (Fredericton, N.B.) will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, two of the four Canadians that have played for both the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays will have a plaque in the St. Marys shrine (Stairs will join Rob Ducey as an inductee). Can you name the two Canadians that have suited up for both the Expos and Blue Jays that have not been inducted yet? Please provide your answer in the “Comments” section below. The first to provide the correct answer will win a signed 1978 Bill Atkinson card.