Carlos Delgado, slugger and secret volleyball star
Rookie revealed he'd played on a varsity volleyball team and considered sticking with that sport
Before he was a Blue Jay, Carlos Delgado was a volleyball star?
That's what Midday viewers found out when the then-rookie Blue Jays slugger appeared on the show 25 years ago.
He admitted that he might have stuck with that game instead of baseball — if his dad hadn't talked him out of it.
"I was pretty good at it," the 21-year-old Delgado told Midday, noting that he'd played on a varsity volleyball team at his high school in Puerto Rico. "I guess it was something new. When you're that young, you don't know any better."
Delgado, a future all-star major leaguer, explained that he'd played baseball since he was five. Yet he said the path to the majors wasn't always so clear to him.
"I guess when you're little, you know, you play in Little League and that's everybody's dream [to reach the majors], you don't know much about the minor leagues," he said.
"You just see those guys on TV, you know, playing and all of a sudden, you get to know the game, you get to know the minor leagues and you know what you have to go through."
Delgado said he got the motivation to work to make it to the minor leagues for a shot at playing big-league ball.
'There is nothing for sure in this game'
The modest soon-to-be-superstar told Midday it was never a given, in his mind, that he would make it to the majors.
"I never knew I was going to make it for sure, because there is nothing for sure in this game, I'll tell you that," said Delgado, who started out as a catcher but would end up sticking in the majors as a first baseman.
But things started to go his way and Delgado believed he owed it to himself to see how far he could go.
"I didn't want to go back home and, you know, tell my kids: 'Well, I could have made it to the big leagues if I would have worked a little bit harder,'" Delgado said. "So, I put a lot of effort into it."
Over the next decade, Delgado would send 336 baseballs over the fence while standing in the batter's box for the Blue Jays.
To this day, no Blue Jay has been able to beat that tally. Not even Jose Bautista — he of the bat flip — could catch up to Delgado during his time in Toronto.
Unfortunately for Delgado and his fans, he never got a chance to take the field in a playoff game for Toronto, as the team failed to make the post-season every year that he played for the team.
He got his chance to play in a single post-season, however, when playing with the New York Mets near the end of his career.