After a brilliant career that spanned parts of 21 seasons, Adrian Beltre announced today that he is retiring from baseball. Via a Rangers press release, Beltre has issued the following statement:
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.
I have thought about it a lot and although I appreciate all the opportunities and everything that baseball has given me, it’s time to call it a career. I have enjoyed the privilege of playing professional baseball since I was 15 years old. I have been blessed to have played 21 seasons at the highest level in Major League Baseball.
I want to thank God, my amazing wife Sandra for your unwavering and unconditional love, support and understanding throughout my entire baseball career, my three awesome children, Cassie, A.J and Camila for being the best baseball kids, my parents, and my entire family for all your love and support.
I also want to thank my agents, Scott Boras, Mike Fiore and the entire Boras Corp. for always believing in my talent. A huge THANK YOU goes to the numerous teammates, managers, coaches, and staff members from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and especially the Texas Rangers. These past eight seasons playing in a Rangers’ uniform have been the best of my career and were made possible thanks to Rangers’ owners Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, and Neil Leibman, General Manager Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan, and the late Don Welke.
I also owe a huge part of my success in Texas to the amazing Rangers’ fans. You guys are the best!
I also have to acknowledge and thank Tommy Lasorda for believing in this young kid from the Dominican Republic when others thought I was too young to be called up to the Big Leagues.
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. 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.
It’s been one hell of a ride!
The march to Cooperstown now begins in earnest for Beltre, one of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game. Signed by the Dodgers out of Santo Domingo in 1994, Beltre debuted in the Majors as a 19-year-old just four years later and never looked back. While his first season didn’t yield quality results, Beltre improved greatly in his age-20 campaign and cemented himself as a star in the years to follow. Beltre ultimately accrued more than 20 years of Major League service time, spending at least five years with each of the Dodgers, Mariners and Rangers (in addition to one year with the Red Sox in 2010).
Already a highly regarded player in the first half of his career, Beltre is the rare player who actually improved with his age. While most players begin to fade in their early to mid-30s, Beltre seemingly won a staredown with Father Time. Incredibly, he’d never made an All-Star team prior to his 31st birthday, but he was named to four Midsummer Classic rosters over the final nine seasons of his career. After hitting a combined .270/.325/.453 with superlative defense from 1998-2009, Beltre exploded to hit .307/.358/.514 from 2010-18. Along that remarkable 21-year journey, his glovework scarcely deteriorated, making him one of the best all-around players in the game for the better part of two decades.
Beltre will retire as a career .286/.339/.480 hitter, with 477 home runs, 636 doubles, 38 triples and 121 stolen bases on his resume. He totaled 3166 hits as a Major Leaguer, scored 1524 runs and knocked in another 1707 runs. In addition to his four All-Star nods — which, in retrospect, was far too few — Beltre won four Silver Sluggers, five Gold Gloves and a pair of Platinum Gloves. Even that considerable amount of hardware feels light — particularly on the Gold Glove front, as Beltre is the runaway all-time leader in Defensive Runs Saved at any position since the stat was introduced in 2003. No one is even close to Beltre’s towering mark of 222, with Andrelton Simmons’ 184 DRS currently sitting in a distant second place.
Beltre earned $219MM in one of the greatest careers we baseball fans will ever have the privilege to witness. Fangraphs tallies his career at 84 wins above replacement, while Baseball-Reference pegs him at a whopping 95.7 WAR. As surefire a Hall of Famer as one can find, Beltre will take his place among the game’s elite in five years once he’s eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot.