Congratulations are in order for Adrian Beltre, who just became the all-time MLB games played leader among natives of the Dominican Republic when he stepped to bat in the top of the first inning Sunday afternoon in Detroit. Beltre has now played in 2,528 games over parts of 18 major league seasons.
Julio Franco, the previous holder of this record, appeared in 2,527 games between 1982-2007.
Beltre, normally one to deflect questions about his accomplishments and growing Hall of Fame resume, opened about this particular mark to columnist Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News …
“I’m proud of it,” Beltre said earlier this week. “I’m accomplishing things I never even thought about. It means I’ve been healthy and able to compete for a long time. … We are proud and we have always been proud of representing the Dominican. [Pedro Martinez’s] speech made me proud. We all grew up playing the game with whatever we had, a baseball, a tennis ball, any kind of ball, a sock even. We find a way to play. I’ve never forgotten that we played just for the fun of it. I try to never forget to have fun.”
Beltre is having a down year, but he hit his 400th career home run earlier this summer and he recently passed 2,700 career hits. Oh, and the Rangers suddenly hold the second American League Wild Card spot.
It’s the time of year when we start getting all of those lists about the cultural crap that underscore just how painfully young today’s incoming college freshman are. Things like “2015 incoming freshman never played stickball. Or persecuted the Irish. They are bioluminescent and are primarily silicon-based lifeforms; for this year’s incoming freshmen, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is just as far in their past as Puccini’s ‘E Lucevan Le Stelle’ is in ours.”
I hate those friggin’ lists. So excuse me while I turn away from the here and now talk about the past and future. Specifically, of the Hall of Fame.
Now, back to feeling old. Did you know that This year’s incoming Freshman have never eaten a sandwich? That the Boer War is totally foreign to them? That they don’t know a world without draculas? It’s true!
Padres outfielder Matt Kemp hit for the cycle on Friday night against the Rockies at Coors Field. He hit a two-run home run in the first inning, singled to lead off the third, hit an RBI double in the seventh, and hit an RBI triple in the ninth. It’s the first cycle in Padres history. The Marlins are the only team remaining without a cycle in team history.
Kemp joins Brock Holt, Shin-Soo Choo, and Adrian Beltre on the list of players to hit for the cycle this season. He’s the first National Leaguer to hit for the cycle since Michael Cuddyer on August 17 last year.
Kemp is currently on a seven-game hitting streak. He’s been much improved in the second half, carrying a .305/.370/.537 batting line with five home runs and 20 RBI in 108 plate appearances since the All-Star break.