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.