Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre announced today he is retiring from playing baseball.
Its a sad day for baseball and a sad day for Rangers fans.
Beltre, 39, debuted in the major leagues in 1998 as a 19 year old for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After seven seasons in Los Angeles he joined the Seattle Mariners as a free agent, had what was generally considered a disappointing run with the Mariners, and then joined the Boston Red Sox on a one year deal for the 2010 season where he had what was at the time the second best season of his career.
Beltre then signed a 6 year, $96 million deal with the Texas Rangers after the 2010 season — a deal that was met with a good deal of skepticism by many, including me. It turned out to be one of the best signings in Rangers history, as Beltre had a late-career surge that saw him earn his place as one of the top five third basemen of all time, while playing the game with a verve that can’t be duplicated.
Beltre struggled with injuries his last two seasons with Texas, but remained productive, and he’s going out on his terms — when he can walk away from the game, rather than having the game tell him that it is done with him.
Beltre ends his career with 3166 hits, 477 home runs, and a .286/.339/.480 slash line. His 95.7 bWAR is 26th best all time among position players. He is 14th all time in games played, 8th all time in at bats, 17th all time in plate appearances, 16th all time in hits, 30th all time in home runs, 11th all time in doubles, 14th all time in total bases, 49th all time in singles, 64th all time in runs scored, and 24th all time in RBIs.
His 95.7 career bWAR is third all time among third basemen, behind only Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews.
He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer who will go into Cooperstown with a “T” on his hat. He was a big part of the best Texas Rangers team ever, and the best stretch this franchise has ever had.
Baseball has been lucky to have Adrian Beltre this long, and Rangers fans are lucky to have had him play here for eight years, and solidify his legacy here.
I will miss watching him play.
Here is the statement from Beltre: