Overcome by injuries, Carlos Delgado has retired from baseball. Even though he’s been inactive since early in the 2009 season, his departure still resonates. There’s a nice farewell piece on Carlos in the Globe and Mail that summarizes the man and his career.
Delgado piled up some impressive numbers on offense during his years with the Toronto Blue Jays and later with the Florida Marlins for one season and a few more with the New York Mets. From 1996 through 2008, he played in at least 138 games and hit 24 home runs or more – a remarkable string of productivity in a career that lasted 17 big league seasons.
Playing all those years in Canada, Delgado didn’t get the American media attention he surely would have received had he played on an American team. But he left his mark.
I always had a soft spot for Delgado, in large part because the only bobblehead I own is one of him that I got at a game at Skydome in Toronto. I went to the game with one of my good friends at The Canadian Press, and it’s the only ballgame I’ve seen outside the U.S.
Thanks for the memories, Carlos, and good luck.
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Yes, the costume mountie hat above is a lot classier than the silly red, white and blue topper the American is wearing.
But what matters is the final score: USA 5, Canada 3.
As I’ve noted before, I’m a big fan of Martin Brodeur. But he had an off night tonight against the Americans, letting in a first-minute goal and three more. To add to Canada’s frustrating loss, Team USA slipped in an open-net goal after Brodeur had skated off as the Canadians desperately tried to take the game into overtime.
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Of this night, Ryan Miller will always be able to note proudly that he outplayed one of hockey’s legendary goalies. And he added his own chapter to the legends of American Olympic hockey.
For a brief few days every four years, Americans are reminded that the wacky sport of curling can bring the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. If it weren’t for the Winter Olympics, most Americans wouldn’t even know the sport exists, except for the hardy few in the upper Midwest and other cold-weather states who play the game.
I’m relatively familiar with curling by virtue of getting Canadian network television on our cable system when we lived in Seattle. Although I can’t say I was a regular viewer, on several weekends of constant rain I beat the gloom by watching curling matches from Canada.
For us baseball- and football-crazed Americans, curling is such an odd sport. It’s slow, plodding (OK, baseball critics, point taken) and played by portly guys who likely spend their summers on beer-league softball teams.
With some amusement, I followed an ad on Facebook this morning to curlinghats.com, which offers curling hats in red, yellow and blue. I don’t quite have the funds at the moment, but eventually I’ll have to get one of these, if only to serve as a companion to my Wisconsin cheese head.
As the whole world watches the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, I couldn’t help but trot out one of my most unusual caps. This is a Canadian Olympic team cap from the 2000 summer games in Sidney.
The photo hardly does justice to the cap, one of the most unusual and stylish in my collection. The crown is shallow, and the bill is so tightly wrapped that its underside is springy to the touch. The Olympic logo is on the right side, and on the left is the brand mark for the Canadian fashion house Roots.
So why am I displaying this Canadian cap on an American flag? This cap was given to me by my good friend Scott White of The Canadian Press. The photo honors our cross-border friendship — and that’s right in keeping with the Olympic spirit.