February 04, 2015

ST. MARYS, Ontario (AP) Carlos Delgado says a nasty cold nearly prevented him from playing on what became a most productive night.

On the day he was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the former Toronto slugger recalled struggling through batting practice in late 2003 before facing Tampa Bay at home.

''I told the trainer, `Wake me up at 10 to 7,''' Delgado said Wednesday.

Batting cleanup that evening, Delgado went on to hit four home runs.

''I think the medicine really affected me because I saw every pitch right down the middle of the plate,'' he said.

Delgado connected in the eighth inning, and that made him the 15th major leaguer to hit four home runs in a game.

''The boys were giving me a hard time for flipping the bat,'' Delgado said. ''I didn't do it on purpose. I was just in la-la land.''

Former big leaguers Corey Koskie and Matt Stairs, longtime Montreal manager Felipe Alou and sports writer Bob Elliott also were elected to the Canadian Hall. They will be inducted on June 13.

Delgado is the career leader in home runs and RBIs for the Blue Jays. The native of Puerto Rico played 17 seasons overall and finished with 473 homers.

Delgado had eight straight 30-homer years with Toronto. He was added to the Blue Jays' Level of Excellence in 2013.

''I'm very honored and humbled to be selected into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,'' he said. ''This is unbelievable news. I always say that you do not play the game for the awards. But if at the end of the day you get that recognition from your fans and peers, it means a lot.''

Delgado was recently eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, for the first time. In results released last month, he didn't get enough support from voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to remain on the ballot.

Koskie is from Manitoba and played for Canada in the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009. The third baseman helped Minnesota reach the playoffs three times and also briefly played for Toronto over his nine-year big league.

Stairs is from New Brunswick. He played for Montreal and Toronto and hit 265 homers in 19 seasons.

Alou was part of the Expos' organization as a player, instructor or manager for 27 of its 36 years of existence.

Elliott is the baseball columnist for the Toronto Sun.

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