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Delgado: HOF conversation 'would've been different' if I'd hit 500 HRs

David Cooper / Toronto Star / Getty

Toronto Blue Jays legend Carlos Delgado wanted to join the exclusive 500 home run club to improve his chances of entering Cooperstown.

Delgado finished his career with 473 homers after playing his last MLB season at age 37 in 2009 due to hip issues. He officially retired in April 2011 after trying to come back from multiple surgeries.

"This is my thinking: I played parts of 17 seasons, if I go another year and I get to 500 home runs and I get closer to 1,700 RBIs, probably the conversation to the Hall of Fame ... would've been different," Delgado said Saturday on Sportsnet 590. "Am I a better baseball player because I played another year and I got to 500 home runs and (close to) 1,700 RBIs?

"Hmm, maybe not. It's just that, sometimes, longevity, it gives you an extra boost."

Only 27 players in MLB history have reached the 500-homer plateau and 18 of those are in the Hall of Fame. Out of the nine that aren't, only Albert Pujols hasn't been linked to steroids.

"I'm not gonna cry over spilled milk," Delgado said. "I enjoyed what I did. I tried to compete to the best of my ability for the time that I had the opportunity to, and I'm happy."

Delgado accrued a .929 OPS over 17 years and hit 30-plus homers for 10 straight seasons, including 40-plus three times. He won three Silver Sluggers and finished as the AL MVP runner-up in 2003.

He fell off of the Hall of Fame ballot in 2015.

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