Friday, October 23, 2009
The Dandy Dozen: Del Gil
The Resume: Del Gil won the NL Rookie of the Year award in Season 2, hitting .300 with a then record 70 HRs and 165 RBI for the Norfolk Admirals. Del would move with the team to Charlotte and Harrisburg before being dealt to the Mexico City Bandejos prior to season 7. In return, the franchise got SS Pablo Guerrero who would play just one season of excellent defense in Washington before departing via free agency, RP Bobby Joe Tollberg who struggled in 2 seasons as the closer before being traded again, and P Pete O'Brien who would put in just one season for DC.
Gil, however, would go on to hit 273 HR's for Mexico City before wrapping up his career in Arizona and Sioux Falls. His career major league totals include 598 HRs (3rd all-time)and 1468 RBI (top 10 all-time). Gil won MVPs in Season 7 (.323, 73 HR, 204 RBI) and Season 10 (.304, 50 HR, 138 RBI), both with Mexico City. He was named silver slugger 3 times at 3B and twice in RF, but made the all-star team just 4 times. He also won the HR Derby in Season 10.
Gil holds the Tampa Bay franchise record for HR (273) and is 3rd in team history with 661 RBI. He's also 3rd in Mexico City history with 271 HR and 677 RBI. He owns single season records for HR (Mexico City 73 and Tampa Bay 70) and RBI (Mexico City 204 and Tampa Bay 2nd with 165).
The Rest of the Story:
Gil desperately wants another chance this season to get his 600th HR which would tie him with long-time rival, Dick Caruso, who retired. Only Banjo White has more HR in 2nd City history (613).
However, Gil hasn't always left on good terms (http://hbd2ndcity.blogspot.com/2009/04/legends-on-move.htm) and he may not get the opportunity to hit # 600. He and Caruso, a former teammate in Charlotte, often spar in the press. In fact, agents for both men refuse to sign autograph deals with any collectors show without getting assurances that the other will not also be appearing. Caruso remains upset that Gil's name is the only one besides his on the
Tampa Bay single season HR listing. And, neither man will concede that other's 70 HR season was better, or even as good as, his own.
So, the two remain Grumpy old men, and Gil begs for a chance to play somewhere, anywhere in the major leagues to get #600, or even better, #601. (picture to the right reflects artist rendition of Caruso and Gil in 20 years)