Baseball careers are unfortunately finite and some end far too soon. We have seen injuries and tragedies cut short promising careers and we are left wondering “what could have been”. Professional sports in general is littered with examples of guys who only captured our attention for fleeting moments and, in many ways, that is part of the magic of the game of baseball. In any one moment, any player can do something memorable even if they never do anything else of note in their careers.
However, that absolutely was not the fate of Adrian Beltre. Beltre came into the league as a teenager and wowed fans across the league with his prodigious ability at the plate and in the field for 21 seasons, 2933 games in total, while being a constant source of entertainment and joy. Unfortunately, we will not be treated to a 22nd season.
Unfortunately for all of us, we will not be treated to Beltre picking on his teammates, causing a ruckus with umpires, or coming up with big hits and Web Gems any longer as he has officially called it a career in a statement released by the Rangers. Many had openly speculated whether or not Beltre would return for another season as he saw his performance and playing time diminish, but you would be hard pressed to find folks that were not hoping that he would come back for at least one more year.
Beltre finishes his career with 477 home runs, 3166 hits, 1524 runs scored, 1707 runs batted in, 222 defensive runs saved (which doesn’t include the first few years he was in the league), and a career slash line of .286/.339/.480 while accumulating 84.0 fWAR. Beltre was a four-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, and four-time Silver Slugger.
Thanks for the memories, Adrian. We look forward to seeing you inducted into Cooperstown.