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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Alex Delgado saw 26 games in bigs, got chance to be hero in one of them

Boston Red Sox rookie Alex Delgado came up in the 10th inning of this June 1996 game, the winning run on second, The Hartford Courant wrote.

Afterward, after he'd smacked a single to win the game, Delgado recounted his thoughts to The Courant.

"I just thought, 'Alex, this is your chance to be a hero,' " Delgado told The Courant. "I was a little nervous, but I knew this was my chance to be noticed. I felt good."

Delgado took advantage of that chance. But, as it turned out, he had few others. He saw 26 games for the Red Sox that year. In a pro career that ultimately spanned two decades, those games proved his only games in the majors - and that RBI his only one in the bigs.

Delgado's career began in 1988, signed by the Red Sox as a free agent out of his native Venezuela.

Delgado started with the Red Sox in the rookie Arizona League. He made single-A Winter Haven in 1989, then saw Winter Haven at high-A and briefly AA New Britain in 1990.

He didn't get back to AA until 1993, when he saw 33 games at New Britain. But he'd also found a new position. Originally an infielder, Delgado had also begun catching.

Delgado first made AAA in 1995, at Pawtucket. He saw 44 games there and hit .252. Then, going into 1996, Delgado seemed poised to make Boston.

"He does all of the things I've tried to stress to our catchers here," Red Sox manager Kevin Kennedy told The Boston Globe. "He's not afraid to call something other than a fastball on 0-and-2. He gives the pitcher a good target. And he's aggressive. I like aggressive catchers."

Delgado debuted with the Red Sox April 4. He got 20 at bats and picked up five hits. He played his final game July 12.

He then returned to the minors. He played at AAA with the Marlins in 1997, with the Blue Jays in 1998 and 1999. He continued seeing some affiliated minor league time through 2004. He also saw time in independent ball and Mexico.

He also saw time in his native Venezuela. He's last credited as playing in the Venezuelan Winter League with Lara in 2010-11.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,914
Made the Majors:1,304-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,610-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:326

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