He’s done it! Adrian Beltre has 3,000 hits!
With a double against Wade Miley of the Orioles, Adrian Beltre is just the 31st player in Major League Baseball history to reach 3,000 hits in their career.
Adrian Beltre is now tied with Roberto Clemente for 30th place all on the all-time hits list and has become the first Dominican born player to reach the milestone.
For hit No. 3,000:
January 5, 2011, Jon Daniels shakes the hand of Adrian Beltre to welcome him to the Texas Rangers.
We didn’t know it at the time, but this was the moment Texas had welcomed one of the three greatest player who would ever wear a Rangers jersey to Arlington.
Four months later, at The Ballpark, on Opening Day, against Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox, Beltre collected his first hit as a Ranger — a single with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning in his second at-bat.
That was Adrian Beltre’s 1,890th hit of his big league career.
Here we sit, now 1,110 hits later and Beltre is a part of one of the rarest, most celebrated clubs in all of sports.
Though Beltre put any argument against his Hall of Fame candidacy to bed years ago, 3,000 hits all but guarantees that Beltre will someday join Nolan Ryan and Pudge Rodriguez, with a T on his cap in Cooperstown.
At the time, it wasn’t seen that way. Before the ink was even dry on his new contract, legendary clods like Lance Berkman and Bud Selig were coming out against his new six year - $96 million dollar deal.
Selig called the signing the worst one that winter in an offseason that included a seven-year, $142 million contract for Carl Crawford.
Said potato of a man Berkman:
"They were itching to spend some money," Berkman said. "I probably could have gotten the best deal out of them, especially in light of what they gave Adrian Beltre, which I think is pretty much of a reach for him."
This seemed to be the agreed upon perception of Beltre. After all, he coming to Texas entering his age 32 season. Generally the peak for a ballplayer is between the ages of 26 to 31ish. So it could have been argued that the Rangers were giving big bucks to a player already out of his prime and with just one or two MVP-type seasons in his career.
To give you an example, players who are 32 years old this season include: Matt Kemp, Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Cain, and Ian Kennedy and oh god those guys seem so old.
Except, as we know now, Beltre isn’t your usual player. Beltre might not even be human. Beltre is probably a timeless being from beyond the stars. And the Rangers signed what is arguably the greatest free agency deal in MLB history and nobody remembers Lance Berkman.
How did history view Beltre on January 4, 2011? He was coming off easily the best season of his career working on a one-year deal in Boston since his final year in LA where only an absurd season from Barry Bonds kept him from winning the NL MVP Award.
After five years banished in Safeco where right-handed power goes to die in the Pacific Northwest marine layer, Beltre became known mostly as a contract year warrior who had a great glove.
Rob Neyer wrote for SB Nation back in September of Beltre’s first year about Beltre’s Hall chances and concluded that Beltre was behind the likes of A-Rod, Chipper Jones, and Scott Rolen while set to be potentially passed by David Wright, Evan Longoria, and/or Zimmerman.
When's the last time you heard some attach future Hall of Famer to "Adrian Beltré"? Or superstar?
Probably never. Or almost never.
You answered. Neyer included a poll asking “Will Adrián Beltré eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame?”
48% voted no and just 13% voted yes with 40% hedging their bet with a too early to call vote.
(Scrolling down to the comments section of that article finds this:)
In 2017, however, this is how we see Beltre:
- WAR – 3rd (40.1)
- Bat Avg- 2nd (.308)
- OPS – 7th (.877)
- Hits – 12th (1,110 - Just 35 away from tying Kinsler for 10th)
- Total bases – 8th (1,863)
- Doubles – 9th (207)
- HR’s – 7th (176)
- RBI – 8th (599)
That’s where Beltre stands on the all-time Texas Rangers franchise leaderboards. (h/t to AllThingsBaseball)
Here are the people who sit above Adrian Beltre all time for third basemen by bWAR:
- Mike Schmidt
- Eddie Mathews
Here’s a list of players who were a better defender at the hot corner in their career:
- Brooks Robinson
There was one man who warned us about what we were about to be getting ourselves into. Jeff Sullivan of now Fangraphs but then Lookout Landing wrote to us at Lone Star Ball on January 6, 2011 to tell us just what a gift we were about to receive in Beltre as he had gotten the pleasure of watching him with the Mariners for five years.
Adrian Beltre is just a treat to watch. He’s a treat to watch first and foremost because he’s good, but also because he so clearly just enjoys what he does. He has a lot of fun playing the game, and he does little to hide it. We want our favorite players to act professional, but we also like to see their personalities shine through, and I think Beltre’s a guy who’s going to fit right in with the Rangers’ young clubhouse. The claw and the antlers – if those things survive, Beltre’s going to take part, and he’ll often be caught with a smile on his face. He’s both one of the most intense players I’ve ever watched, and one of the most playful.
All these years later and I can’t help but just smile and nod at such a perfect description of what was to come.
Adrian Beltre has 3,000 hits, and he’s now an enormous part of baseball history.
Here’s video of Vin Scully calling Adrian Beltre’s first career hit.
2,999 later and the man hasn’t aged a day.