Legendary third baseman and future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre announced his retirement this morning.
The announcement, which was not entirely unexpected, came via an official statement through the Texas Rangers. Beltre said, “After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, I have made the decision to retire from what I’ve been doing my whole life, which is playing baseball, the game I love.”
The game loved him back, as did fans and teammates at every stop he made throughout his 21-year career.
Beltre broke in with the Dodgers as a teenager in 1998 and played in Los Angeles for seven seasons. From there he moved on to Seattle for a five-season stint in 2005, spent a year with the Red Sox in 2010 and then spent the final eight years of his career with the Rangers. Along the way he was a four-time All-Star and a five-time Gold Glove Award winner. He put up a career line of .286/.339/.480, slugged 477 homers and collected 3,166 hits. The numbers aside, he was considered a team leader for most of his career and it’s hard to find a more respected figure around the game.
Beltre’s future in the game will be an interesting one. If he chooses to coach or manage, he should have many opportunities to do so. No matter what he does, we know that a little over five years from now he’ll almost certainly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.