Thursday, April 14, 2011

SPORTS: A Good One Retires

Carlos Delgado officially retired yesterday and talk of his Hall of Fame chances commenced immediately. I think it's a stretch to say he's border-line to become a member of baseball's hallowed hall. But it's not inconceivable that he will be enshrined. He's one of my absolute favourite human beings on this planet and even the crusty old baseball writer's cabal would admit that. In fact, it might only be the writers who wouldn't vote him in. Everybody else who's ever met him would vote yes, in all probability.

One of my fondest times with my niece was at a signing Delgado did at the local comic book emporium. Delgado was late and tensions were a little high, but once things got going, that smile and Delgado's genuine warmth for fans shone brightly. I was, more or less, conducting the show and my niece was my little helper. She and Delgado got along famously. He treated her like his own kid (which, at the time, was a future project). He made a fan for life. ME and her.

Delgado's probably is not getting into the Hall of Fame. The Princes of Non-Bias will look at his numbers and won't see HOF written all over them. They'll consider voting for him, because, well, he was a great guy and I never, ever suspected him of using women's fertility drugs at any point (how's Manny being Manuela going to work out for Ramirez, you think?). But the lack of World Series rings, the lack of MVP votes along the way and numbers, more ordinary than not, will result in exclusion from the Hall. Other than with a ticket in hand.

But I WILL tell you where I think he's got more than a snowball's chance in Puerto Rico of getting needed votes. It wouldn't shock me at all if he goes into political office in Puerto Rico and turns out to be good, really good, at the job. Now, generally, I have a callous dislike for politicians. In general, I think most lie. A lot. You have to, to get elected. Then, once in power, politicians cling to that power in ways that I find unseemly. And yes, being woken up by a Conservative campaigner this morning certainly has re-inforced my anti-politician feelings. But I think Delgado could be that politician that rises above it all. He doesn't need the power or the money or the ability to dole out favours being elected would bring him. He's genuinely interested in the welfare of his fellow Puerto Ricans and has been working hard to improve their lot in life for years.

Carlos Delgado, President of Puerto Rico? Not far-fetched. Carlos Delgado, Hall of Famer? Yeah, pretty well far-fetched. But I know which vote Delgado would end up preferring.

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