I’m not sure a single baseball player in today’s league garners more respect than Adrian Beltre does. The man was an absolute warrior on the field for his 21 years of service. From the beginning of his career until the end, Beltre was one of, if not the best ever, at fielding his position at third base. He amassed 3,000 hits in his career and came up just 23 homers short of reaching the 500 plateau. I think the sentence you’ll hear the most about him today will be he played the game the way it should be. He never fucked around with steroids (unless you’re Doug Gottlieb who basically said since he’s Dominican he did them), he played through injury after injury, he hit the shit out of the baseball, played Gold-Glove caliber defense, and had a fuck ton of fun doing it.
Beltre was easily one of my favorite non-Yankees to watch and I’m going to miss him. In my opinion he’s a first ballot hall of famer. The Dodgers signed him at the age of 15 for a signing bonus of $23,000. He totaled $220 million during his 21 year career, which is the seventh highest in baseball history. He’s on a short list of just 11 players who had attained a 50 plus WAR after this age 31 season. That’s a list with some bums named Barry Bonds, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and Stan Musial. Yeah, not too shabby.
I’ll never forget that time the ump told him to get in the on-deck circle, so Beltre complied by moving the on-deck circle to where he was standing. Incredible. Maybe the best ejection ever.
He had a thing where he liked to take a shit in peace and be left alone. When he was with Seattle, Felix Hernandez would go in the stall next to him every time he found out Beltre was in there. People fucking with Beltre was one of my favorite narratives in baseball.
“When I go to the bathroom, I don’t want people to talk to me,” Beltre said. “When I’m in the stall, it’s not a conversation station. If I’m in the stall of the bathroom, I don’t want to talk to anybody. I’m here to do my business and relax. And every time Felix would find out I’m in the bathroom, he would sit in the stall next to me and start talking.”
I hope when he’s inducted in the Hall of Fame whoever introduces him touches the top of his head and Beltre just fights the guy on stage. I love that guy.
Also LOL at the Angels.