Third baseman Adrian Beltre, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in this year’s BBWAA voting, will be wearing a Texas Rangers cap on his plaque, it was announced today.
I think that everyone assumed that would be the case, but that’s been made official now. And besides, it gives us an excuse to do a post about Adrian Beltre, and how he was elected to the Hall of Fame, and how awesome Adrian Beltre is. And who would complain about that?
Beltre spent parts of 8 seasons with the Rangers, picked up his 3000th hit as a Ranger, and ended his career with Texas. He started his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he played parts of 7 seasons, before spending 5 years with the Seattle Mariners. He spent a season with the Boston Red Sox as well, before coming to Texas.
Beltre’s best season came in 2004 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, when he finished 2nd in the MVP voting and put up a 9.6 bWAR, but his best years overall were with the Rangers. When Beltre came to Texas, he had a reputation for being a terrific defensive third baseman who was also a good hitter. Beltre blossomed with Texas, though, establishing himself as one of the game’s best while being embraced by a national audience.
Occasionally I forgot how lucky I am, as a Ranger fan, to have experienced so many years of Adrian Beltre at his best.
As for the rest of this year’s Hall of Fame class, Joe Mauer and Todd Helton will go in as a Twin and a Rockie, respectively, since they never played for any other teams. Jim Leyland, who managed the Pittsburgh Pirates for 11 years, the Detroit Tigers for 8 years, the Florida Marlins for 2 seasons, and the Colorado Rockies for one forgettable year, will not have a logo on his cap.