Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre became the 31st member of the 3,000 hit club on Sunday while facing the Orioles. With his team trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, he hit a 3-0 fastball off of Wade Miley for a double, putting runners on second and third with one out. He’s the first Dominican-born player to reach 3,000 career hits.
The game halted for a few minutes following Beltre’s double. A banner unfurled in center field and a graphic was revealed in right field, celebrating his achievement. Meanwhile, Beltre was congratulated by his teammates on the field. His family came onto the field as well, hugging him while the crowd at Globe Life Park continued to cheer.
Beltre, 38, entered the game batting .310/.387/.538 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 212 plate appearances. He missed nearly two months to begin the season due to a strained right calf, delaying his much anticipated achievement.
Over parts of 20 years, Beltre has made four All-Star Games and won four Silver Slugger Awards, five Gold Glove Awards, and two Platinum Glove Awards. He’s mashed 454 home runs along with 604 doubles in his storied career.
We’ll have more on Beltre to come, including video of his 3,000th hit and a career retrospective.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.
[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.
None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, and supplied by Nike that, last I checked, were not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:
If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves, I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters do not impress the powers that be nearly as much.