Delgado among 5 entering Canadian Baseball HoF

Carlos Delgado was one of the most productive hitters in Blue Jays' history.

Former Toronto Blue Jays players Carlos Delgado, Corey Koskie and Matt Stairs will be inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this summer along with longtime Montreal Expos manager Felipe Alou and distinguished baseball writer 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,” said Scott Crawford, the Hall of Fame’s director of operations. “We’re proud and excited to celebrate their careers.”

Delgado spent 12 of his 17 MLB seasons with the Blue Jays after signing with Toronto as an amateur free agent in 1988. The native of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico became one of baseball’s top power hitters with the Blue Jays, hitting 30 home runs or more in each of his last eight seasons in Toronto. His 2003 season may be the best offensive campaign in franchise history; he hit 42 home runs — including four in one historic game — while leading the AL in RBI (145) and OPS (1.019) on his way to a second-place MVP finish, all-star berth and Silver Slugger.

Delgado said Wednesday that he was humbled by the honour.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “Obviously I’m not Canadian but I had the opportunity to play in Toronto for a long time, make some great friends and I got to know the country a little bit. I’m extremely proud and super-happy looking forward to the summer.”

Carlos Delgado on Twitter

Delgado, who missed the threshold for possible induction to Cooperstown earlier this year, retired with 473 career home runs and a career .929 OPS.

Koskie, a native of Anola, Man., hit 124 home runs over the course of nine seasons at the big league level, including one with Toronto (2005). His breakout season came in 2001, when he hit 26 home runs with 103 RBI and an .850 OPS for the Minnesota Twins.

Stairs played for both the Blue Jays and Expos over the course of a 19-year MLB career that saw him hit 265 home runs with an .832 OPS. A native of Saint John, N.B., Stairs hit a career-best 38 home runs with the Oakland Athletics in 1999.

Alou, a former MLB outfielder who played for Montreal in 1973, managed the Expos from 1992-2001. He won NL Manager of the Year award for leading Montreal to a 74-40 record during the strike-shortened 1994 season and has long been considered an integral part of the Expos organization for his contributions as player, instructor and manager in 27 of the Expos’ 36 years of existence.

Elliott, a longtime baseball journalist, has extensive experience covering both the Expos and Blue Jays as well as amateur baseball across the country. Now the Toronto Sun’s baseball columnist, Elliott founded the Canadian Baseball Network website and is the author of three books. The Kingston, Ont., native was honoured with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Jack Graney Award in 2010 and with the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2012.

The induction ceremony will take place in St. Marys, Ont., on June 13.

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