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Del-GONE-o

Somehow, the news that Steve Henderson is back in the major leagues (Devil Rays hitting coach) pales by comparison.

Welcome to New York, Carlos Delgado and a Happy Thanksgiving to all as Santa Minaya left an early holiday present under the tree for Mets fans in the form of a player whose career home run total matches that of Ralph Kiner (who once noted, according to one site tracking such statements that "Solo homers usually come with no one on base.")

Delgado has 369 career home runs and while Shea Stadium might hold him back from a few, we project his power display to be Kingmanesque (his defense too). Delgado has three career walk-off home runs, all with the Blue Jays, and it seemed like a good idea to share the details of those.

The first came on May 16, 1999, a three-run shot with nobody out in the ninth inning against Red Sox reliever Kip Gross, giving the Blue Jays a 9-6 victory.

The second occurred on August 16, 2000, a two-run blast in the ninth inning against Angels reliever Lou Pote, handing Toronto an 8-6 triumph.

The most recent one was also his most dramatic. On July 8, 2004, the Blue Jays trailed the Mariners, 8-7 in the ninth inning, with Seattle's closer Eddie Guardado one out away from closing the game out. There were two men on base, two men out, and the recently activated Delgado, who was out with a rib injury, was up. In both the first and second innings, Delgado came up with the bases loaded. Both times he popped out. Both times, his home fans booed (note to Carlos: Get used to it).

As Bob Murphy liked to say "Baseball is a game of redeeming features" and Delgado got back into everyone's good graces by booming the first pitch into the second deck in right field for a game-winning three-run home run.

"In the same game you're terrible and you're a hero," Delgado told reporters afterwards (nice game account from the Canadian Press, Canada's version of AP), so it's clear he understands what he'll be getting himself into here.

True Metgados know...Delgado and Kiner are tied for 61st on the all-time home run list. Next up is former Mets manager Gil Hodges, who had 370. Besides both being first basemen, Hodges and Delgado share this in common. To this point, both have had 369 home runs that weren't walk-offs for the Mets.

Thanks to those who helped make November 23, the most popular day for this site. To those who came here from Metsblog.com, if you want to see the rest of the site, go to http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com. Happy Thanksgiving!

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