Adrian Beltre announced today that he is retiring from the sport of baseball. It’s unfair then that ultimately this being of resplendent mirth was forced to reside in a mortal body that aged.
Considering what Adrian Beltre has meant to the Texas Rangers, to baseball, and, frankly, to me as a fan of this sport, if there were any one thing that should have lasted forever it is Adrian Beltre’s wedded bliss to baseball.
But what a selfish thought, right? There is good news in today’s announcement. Adrian Beltre might not get to suit up to play the sport he loves anymore but that means he gets to be with his family full time. Those are some lucky Beltres!
I wrote my magnum opus on my favorite baseball player when he re-signed with Texas back in 2016. Within it, I chronicled the effortless joy he brought to the sport. I opined on this almost mystical unrivaled toughness he had the ability to summon. I gawked at his legendary play and saw firsthand his transition from underappreciated to effusively praised.
At the time, two more years of Adrian Beltre felt like a gift never ending. Alas...
Beltre had more in store for us than just playing out two more years of baseball, however. In the summer of 2017, Beltre was barreling down on history as he neared his 3,000th hit and I decided to share a shard of happiness with each of his ten hits before he reached one of baseball’s treasured heights.
For hit 2,990: The legend of OH SHIT!
For hit 2,991: Dugout Dad
For hit 2,992: The GOAT with the glove
For hit 2,993: Bi-Cycle
For hit 2,994: Walk-off, AB style
For hit 2,995: Making playoff history
For hit 2,996: Doing what no one else has ever done better
For hit 2,997: Baseball’s best brothers
For hit 2,998: Becoming a Fall Classic icon
For hit 2,999: The endless joy
For hit 3,000: 3,000 hits and a ticket to Cooperstown
Since then, we’ve seen Adrian Beltre climb to the very tippy-top of the mountain as far as third basemen to ever play the sport. There’s Mike Schmidt. There’s Eddie Mathews. And there’s Adrian Beltre.
Indeed, sometime in the summer of 2024, Adrian Beltre will be in Cooperstown to be inducted into the inner circle of baseball’s immortals. I hope to be there to see it. I hope you’ll come, too.
It’s a difficult thing to say goodbye to Adrian Beltre, baseball player. I feel the loss already and it honestly feels like baseball will never quite be the same, as dramatic as that sounds.
They have me in their clutches, make no mistake, but there were days, more than I can count, that I tuned into Rangers baseball games BECAUSE I knew Adrian Beltre was going to do something that brought a smile to my face.
Perhaps it will never quite be as good for very often, Adrian Beltre was baseball. There is a hole now where pure, unadulterated happiness once thrived.
His little brother Elvis Andrus knows it.
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I’m so bless to play for the last 8 years next to not only the best 3rd basemen this game has seen but my brother. Thank u for everything you’ve done in my career in and off the field and for always teach me to BELIEVE in my self, RESPECT the game and the most important one ENJOY the game with a couple of hits for sure lol. Baseball will miss you LOVE YOU BIG BRO.
Dirk Nowitzki knows it. After all, GOAT recognize GOAT.
Say it ain’t so! Thanks for everything, AB! And congrats on your hall of fame career!— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) November 20, 2018
The young third basemen who wants to be like him know it.
His contemporaries know it.
Congrats on an unbelievable career Adrian Beltre! The total package at the hot corner. I will save a seat for u at the third baseman’s table of the members dinner in Cooperstown my man! Enjoy retirement buddy.— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) November 20, 2018
And baseball knows it.
It’s up to the rest of us to fill it now. Adrian Beltre gave more than half of his entire life so far to professional baseball and to giving us that gift of joy whenever he touched the diamond. It’s only right that he gets to experience it from this side.
In the end, what I hope is that each and every person one day finds their singular perfect thing like Adrian Beltre found in baseball. We were all richer for it.
Thank you, Adrian. Be seeing you at the house that you built in 2020. I’m looking forward to touching the head of your statue.
P.S. Sign A.J. Beltre as soon as possible, Rangers.