ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Texas Rangers third-baseman Adrian Beltre announced his retirement today after a remarkable 21-season career that included virtually every major honor and 3,166 hits.
In a statement sent by the club this morning, Beltre said he has thought long about the move.
“I appreciate all the opportunities and everything that baseball has given me,” he said. “It’s time to call it a career,” he continued, about the decision that came after “careful consideration and many sleepless nights.”
Beltre, who is 39, is a four-time MLB All-Star and five-time Golden Glove winner.
He made his big league debut at 19 with the Dodgers in 1998. Beltre played with Los Angeles until 2004, then was with the Seattle Mariners from 2005-09 and the Boston Red Sox in 2010. He joined the Rangers as a free agent in 2011 and appeared in his only World Series in his first season with Texas.
In 2,933 career games, Beltre hit .286 with 477 home runs and 1,707 RBIs.
In his statement, Beltre thanked former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, then the team’s interim general manager, for “believing in this young kid from the Dominican Republic when others thought I was too young to be called up” to the majors. Beltre was only 15 when he first signed with the Dodgers as an amateur free agent in July 1994.
Beltre played with Los Angeles until 2004, then was with the Seattle Mariners from 2005-09 and the Boston Red Sox in 2010. He joined the Rangers on a $96 million, six-year free agent deal in 2011, and appeared in his only World Series in his first season with Texas.
“As much fun as people see us having at the ballpark all of the time, and playing around, I haven’t met somebody that was more detailed about the game than him,” Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “That is something that stood out to me, something I learned from watching him and playing next to him the last eight years. He’s going to be missed for sure. It’s going to be different.”
Beltre hit .273 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs in 119 games this season, when he went on the disabled list twice because of an ailing left hamstring issues that also bothered him at the end of the 2017 season.
He got his 3,000th career hit on July 30, 2017, the 31st major leaguer to reach that milestone.
“To all my fans in the Dominican Republic, the United States and Latin America, my sincerest THANK YOU for your continuous support throughout my career,” Beltre wrote. “While I will forever cherish the memories from my time playing the greatest game on earth, I am excited to become a fulltime husband and father, and I am ready to take on the next chapter of my life.”
Michael Young, now a special assistant to the general manager, was the Rangers third baseman before Beltre joined the team. Young then became a utility infielder and designated hitter and is still the career leader for games played and hits by a Rangers player.
“I knew he was good defensively, I didn’t know he was this good. I knew he could hit, I didn’t know he could hit like that. I knew he was tough, I didn’t know he was that tough,” Young said Tuesday. “I could just pretty much go on, all of the things I knew about him, he was just better in pretty much in every possibly way I could have imagined.”