With a double in the sixth inning against the Marlins on Wednesday night, Adrian Beltre was just five hits from 3K, here’s a look back at ten of our favorite Adrian Beltre moments and antics. We’ll post a new one with each hit as we count down to 3,000!
For hit No. 2995:
Adrian Beltre joined the Rangers for the 2011 season on a team that had reached the World Series the previous year. Beltre manned third base which bumped local hero Michael Young off the hot corner and into a more utility role.
If anything, Beltre was considered something of a consolation prize with Texas missing out on bringing back Cliff Lee over the winter and various other AL West teams like Oakland and Anaheim flirting with Beltre but sending him low-ball offers.
Though I would argue that Adrian Beltre was a huge part of the best Rangers team of all time in 2011 from April through October, it could be said that it took a while for him to stand out in Texas with more eyes on the likes of Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, and the aforementioned Young.
Despite missing about a month during the summer with a hamstring injury, Beltre finished the year second on the team behind Kinsler with a 5.5 fWAR. He tied with Kinsler for the team high with 32 home runs and lead the regulars with a wRC+ of 135.
Beltre was arguably the Rangers’ best hitter in 2011 and that was even with an AL career low BABIP of .273. That, of course, is without taking into account his transcendent defense at third base. Past a Diving Michael Young was a thing of the past.
So, despite a great first season in Texas, Beltre was once again overshadowed as he had been for much of his career. He hadn’t really had that one singular defining moment that made him a Texas Ranger in the eyes of many yet.
That changed on October 4, 2011 when, in his second trip to the postseason in his career, Adrian Beltre became just the sixth player in MLB history to homer thrice in one playoff game.
With the Rangers up 2-1 in the series, Texas needed every one of the three solo home runs that Beltre, along with a solo shot from Kinsler, as Texas won a series-clinching thriller 4-3 to return to the ALCS.
But just homering three times in a playoff game, just making playoff history, just becoming a part of Texas Rangers lore and making you consider buying his jersey for the first time, that’s not enough for Adrian Beltre.
It wouldn’t be a defining moment for Adrian Beltre without something incredibly funny happening.
After Kinsler opened the scoring with his home run in the first inning to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead, Beltre hit his first home run of the day in the second inning. As he rounded the third base bag and neared home plate, the TBS cameraman following Beltre’s trot tripped and provided us with this indelible moment:
Poor guy got tuckered out trying to chase Adrian Beltre around all day.
In one of the first viral Beltre moments as a Ranger, Beltre paired his brand of entertainment with his otherworldly ability to play the game of baseball and a new Texas legend was born.