The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs announced their 2015 class for the Southern League Hall of Fame Wednesday, with 1993 Knoxville Smokies slugger Carlos Delgado chosen as the Tennessee Smokies franchise’s representative.
In his lone campaign with the Smokies during the 1993 campaign, Delgado paced the circuit in two of the three Triple Crown categories, posting a .303 batting average (142-468), adding 25 homers and 102 RBI, with the latter two pacing all Southern Leaguers. The left-handed slugger also led the league with a .430 on-base percentage, in addition to third in runs scored (91) en route to becoming the fourth player in franchise history to earn Southern League Most Valuable Player honors.
After playing in all 140 contests with the Smokies that year, the Puerto Rico native received a September call-up to the Major Leagues from the Toronto Blue Jays, beginning a stellar 17-year Big League career, including his first 12 with the Toronto. Over the course of over 2,000 Major League contests, Delgado crushed 473 career home runs, and drove in 1,512 RBI, in addition to accumulating a .280 batting average. The two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner is considered one of the finest power hitters to come out of Puerto Rico, with no other native collecting more Major League home runs and RBI.
Delgado becomes the second member of the Smokies franchise to be inducted into the Southern League Hall of Fame after 2009 Smokies manager and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ryne Sandberg was enshrined in the inaugural class last year. Delgado will be honored throughout the 2015 Southern League season, including a pre-game ceremony prior to the Southern League All-Star Game in Montgomery, Alabama on June 23.