One of the most consistent players of the decade is hanging it up. After an impressive 21-year career that spanned stops with four teams, Adrian Beltre announced his retirement Tuesday morning. The third baseman seemingly got better with age, slashing .307/.358/.514 from 2010-18. He averaged 163 hits, 32 doubles, 25 home runs, 77 runs scored, and 89 RBI over that span.
The Texas Rangers shared a statement from Beltre announcing his retirement from Major League Baseball:
— #ThankYouAB (@Rangers) November 20, 2018
Adrian Beltre Announces Retirement
Beltre broke into the big leagues at just 19-years-old with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He appeared in 77 games in 1998 before sticking with the team and appearing in 152 games in 1999. Beltre would play seven seasons for the Dodgers, averaging 138 games played a season. He hit 147 home runs with LA while scoring 456 runs.
In his last year with the Dodgers, Beltre led all of baseball with 48 home runs. He added to that by producing the first 200-hit season since Mike Piazza in 1997. Beltre would go on to finish second in MVP voting in 2004 to some guy named Barry Bonds.
Seattle and Boston
After 2004, Beltre would move on and sign with the Seattle Mariners. He continued to produce at the plate while capturing his first two Gold Gloves with the Mariners. Unfortunately, the team would miss the playoffs each season from 2005-09.
Beltre then signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2010 season before contributing one of the best performances of his career. He led all of MLB with 49 doubles in 2010 while hitting 28 home runs with 84 runs scored, 102 RBI, and a .919 OPS. The team would miss the playoffs despite Beltre earning his first All-Star selection and a top-10 finish in MVP voting.
Time in Texas
During his eight years with the Rangers, Beltre solidified what should be a Hall of Fame career. He played 1,098 games while recording 1,277 hits, 239 doubles, 199 home runs, and slashed .304/.357/509. He would help guide Texas to four postseason appearances, including a trip to the 2011 World Series that was lost in heartbreaking fashion to the St. Louis Cardinals.
At the time of his retirement, Beltre was the active leader in games played (2,933), plate appearances (12,130), at-bats (11,068), and hits (3,166). Beltre never appeared in less than 94 games from 1999-2018 and played at least 100 games in every year but one during that span. He consistently brought excellence to his teams for two decades over a truly remarkable career.
Hall of Fame
Adrian Beltre will go down as an absolute no-brainer to be inducted into Cooperstown once he is eligible. He is the only full-time third baseman to finish his career with 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. Beltre is one of two players ever to post numbers of 3,166 hits, 477 home runs, .819 OPS, and five Gold Gloves. The other is Willie Mays. In addition to his fantastic performances, Beltre was sincerely one of the most respected and well-liked players in the league. He is a Hall of Famer in the truest sense.
Congratulations Adrian Beltre on an amazing career!
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