Former Dodger Adrian Beltre retires after 21 seasons, 3,166 hits #Dodgers https://t.co/SCvgMZhkbP
A four-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger award winner, Beltre, entered the league as a 19-year-old rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 1998, four years after they had signed him. He spent seven seasons with the Dodgers, five years in Seattle and one in Boston before joining the Rangers in 2011 — his first season making it to a World Series.
Beltre is a great example of the term “slow and steady wins the race,” because he wasn’t always spectacular.
But the quality of his consistency, the force of his well-roundedness as a five-time Gold Glove winner with 477 bombs — and the totality of his career makes him a prime candidate for induction into Cooperstown.
With his departure from the game, Beltre becomes a well-respected baseball ambassador and an example of how baseball can help a kid from anywhere in the world grow into a man with a lasting, meaningful legacy.
Beltre retired as one of five players to register 3,000 hits, 450 HR and 600 doubles.
Legends Hank Aaron, Stan “The Man” Musial, Albert Pujols and Carl Yastrzemski are the others.
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With such company, Beltre poses a solid argument for best MLB player of all-time from the Dominican Republic with him being the first of many superb players from the Caribbean island to achieve the 3,000-hit milestone. Beltre’s 3,166 hits are the most ever for a foreign-born player.
In recent years, DR has become baseball’s most fertile and cherished pro breeding ground. There are Dominican players with 500 and 600 plus homers, but none with the longevity, consistency, hits production, and clean PED history of Beltre, who is already garnering HOF votes from BBWAA writers.
Beltre hit 15 homers and drove in 65 RBI in just 119 games this season. He probably could have played another year, but he chose to go out on top, which is something that few players, even the greats of the game, rarely get to do.