Whenever the "he's only _______ short of the cycle" talk starts and names like Kelly Gruber and Jeff Frye bounce around; my thoughts turn, as usual, to Carlos Delgado. And how much more badass (and noteworthy) his four home run game is than the cycle. 16 total bases son, that ain't nothing to fuck with.
Ian the Blue Jay Hunter provided an excellent service and, in term, a excellent window into the mindset of a fanbase. Voting Joe Carter the quintessential Blue Jay by a decent margin shows Jays fans great love of the glory days.
Unfortunately for me, my overwhelming cynicism causes me to think this way: there's been a lot more quoteunquote heartbreak through the Jays storied history than triumph. What better epitomizes the true Blue Jays spirit than excellence toiling away in relative obscurity? Ten years of Carlos Delgado and Roy Halladay grabbing individual awards (or having them grabbed from them) while the team futilely trudged along.
The unending brilliance of Tony Fernandez might have ruined a generation's throwing arms1, the indifferent achievement of Delgado and Halladay is truly the quintessential Blue Jays experience.
1 - "Throw it overhand, dammit. Your arm won't get any stronger throwing it sidearm like that!" Many dads, 1984-2000 inclusive.
Image courtesy of the New York Daily News.