I’ve mentioned it before, but my life in baseball started as a bandwagon fan, finally paying attention when they made it to the World Series in 2010. They struck out Alex Rodriguez for the final out to send them to the World Series, the night before my birthday which I took as a personal victory and promptly woke up early the next morning to buy my ALCS t-shirt before they sold out.
I only have one other memory of watching a Rangers game and the only reason I know it didn’t involve Adrian Beltre is because it was 2009 and he wasn’t playing for us then.
Beyond that, I have no recollection of what it’s like to watch the Texas Rangers play without the legend that is Adrian Beltre on a daily basis or at the very least being in the dugout or on the roster.
2019 is going to be big change.
Quick! What’s your favorite Adrian Beltre moment?
I bet you thought of all the down-on-one-knee homers.
Or was it the across the diamond throws while he’s falling in the opposite direction?
Or that time he was sassy and moved the on-deck circle.
The first time he hit for the cycle at the Rangers ballpark? The second? The third?
I bet you thought of multiple moments and one led to another?
I think it’s hard to think of one specific game or event moment that made Beltre the standout Ranger, the Ranger that would steal all our hearts and make us all weep when is retirement became official. Because you can’t just come up with one, because once you think of one, it turns into a montage of all his greatest hits (pun intended).
That’s how you know the kind of impression he’s had on fans. And the game. He’s the true example of an adult playing a child’s game. He takes the game seriously but he also knows how to have fun.
He respects the game but keeps you entertained.
Not to be dramatic but next season and every season after that, watching someone other than number 29 play third base with TEXAS written out across his chest is gonna be weird. And it’s gonna feel like a very important piece is missing.
I don’t think it took long for Adrian Beltre to claim a spot in our hearts and leave a legacy with the Rangers. For me at least, it feels like he’s always been around, always been a Ranger. I’m not really sure if there was a defining moment where we all looked at each other as fans and said “hey so Adrian Beltre, we really love him.” It just kind of happened from being able to see the collective moments as we watched every game he played over the last eight seasons and I’m really thankful that we got to witness a future first ballot hall of famer play baseball everyday, with enthusiasm and the drive to give his all in every game and in every season no matter how the team was predicted to do or what the results were.
It’s safe to say Beltre is one of the few players truly respected by everyone. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anyone say or allude to anything negative about him. His teammates, his opponents, coaches, fans, casual watchers of Ranger games, even media.
(Ok well there is Joe West, but I just don’t think he knows how to take a joke. )
I think personality has a lot to do with how much we love him, it almost seems like a perk that he just so happens to also be REALLY good at his job. Both offensively and defensively.
Adrian Beltre is 16th all time in hits, 30th all time in home runs, 11th all time in doubles, 24th all time in RBIs, and has the third highest bWAR ever for a third baseman. pic.twitter.com/gM5mb1oVBb— Adam J. Morris (@lonestarball) November 20, 2018
Twitter calls Adrian Beltre a National Treasure, and if it were anyone else, I’d call it straight up hyperbole but in a world where we are constantly finding out our heroes have turned out to be garbage humans, Beltre seems to be the most reliable hero of them all. How often can you come across someone who is respected, has a fun personality but can also be serious when he needs to be, be a leader, and have the stats and long career on the field to back it all up?
That’s what makes him loveable.
And that’s what’s gonna make the next couple of seasons hard, because that’s what’s gonna be missing. They’ll be athletes that may have a combination of some of those traits, but we may never find anyone that leaves such an impression on a sport like Adrian Beltre.
I think it’s safe to say that AB is the reason I fell in love with baseball and if not for him I can say with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t be writing this. Because if I didn’t love baseball, I never would’ve written about it anywhere or pursued a degree in sports journalism that hopefully turns into a career.
I think it’s safe to say that Beltre is the reason a lot of people fell in love with the game.
While we all know he wanted desperately wanted to win a World Series before he retired, I hope he’s proud of the impact he’s left on the game and the fans.
Thank you, Adrian Beltre!