ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Almost two months after playing the final game of the season, Texas Rangers star third baseman made it official… That was the final game of his career.
Adrian Beltre is retiring after 21 seasons in the majors. He finishes 16th on the all-time hits list and 30th in home runs.
For some Rangers fans, this goodbye stings. But it also brings a lot of smiles.
“I wasn’t very happy about it because I love Adrian, and he’s such a good player for this team,” 11-year-old Hunter Fitting said.
Rangers fans CBS 11 spoke with, no matter the age, seemed to be a bit down that the time has come to say goodbye to the face of the franchise.
“It’s really tough,” said Jonathan Fitting, Hunter’s dad.
Yet, in the same breath, Hunter, his dad and other fans become nostalgic, reminiscing of times gone by, including his World Series runs, his 3,000 hit, his infamous home run swing.
“Whenever he would hit a bomb from one leg down on the ground, that had to be it,” John Finch said referencing his favorite memory.
Then there were his idiosyncrasies.
He would mess with his teammate Elvis Andrus on the left side of the infield. And other big leaguers in general. Like the time when he played patty cake with the bag, daring the other team to tag him. Or his crazy legs!
“When he moved the on deck circle, that was a good one,” said Tyler Knickerbocker. (He was ejected for that.)
“But the funny thing about him is, when he touches his head,” Hunter Fitting said, knowing Beltre hates when people touch his head.
And when someone dared do it, his reactions were classic: half punches, glove throwing and stares.
In his farewell letter to baseball and Texas, Beltre said his eight years in Texas were the best of his career.
He closed by saying, “It’s been one hell of a ride!”
Signed, “Muchas gracias, Adrian Beltre.”