By the time you read this article Carlos Beltran will have already left the New York Mets. Beltran had an up-and-down career with the Metropolitans, but was always a great fielder and feared batter when he was in the lineup. With his career in Queens now over, we have the pleasure of looking back at the moments that Mets fans will always remember, and in some cases, not be able to forget.
Omar Minaya brought in coveted free agent Carlos Beltran in 2005 with a 7 year 119$ million contract.
The New York Mets had signed pitching ace Pedro Martinez, and the 2005 season was looking a little more optimistic for fans. Then optimism turned into joy when the Mets announced they were signing the gem of free agency, Carlos Beltran. Beltran had an out-of-this-world postseason with the Astros—after being traded from the Royals—and was at the top of the free agent class. The Mets got him for 7 years and $119 million.
With the signing of Martinez, the Mets showed they were committed to improving the team and winning, and that was enough to get Beltran to sign on the dotted line. What really made the signing sweet were reports that the New York Yankees wanted to sign Beltran. For a Mets fan there is nothing sweeter than stealing a coveted free-agent prize from the then Steinbrenner-run Yanks.
After not having made the playoffs since 2000, the New York Mets fan base had a big reason to smile.
For those fans watching the Mets take on the Padres live on August 11, 2005 the Beltran-Cameron collision is one of the most gruesome and stomach churning moments you've ever witnessed in sports.
Beltran and Cameron were two of the best defensive outfielders at the time and their spectacular catch making ability came together in a perfect storm that landed them both on the disabled list. Cameron missed the remainder of the season with a concussion, temporary loss of vision and two broken cheek bones. Beltran suffered vertigo and a concussion.
The collision is so poignant in our memories simply because of how shocking the footage is. If you have the stones, you can find the video somewhere on the Internet, but be warned—it is not for the faint of heart. For Mets fans it was a terrible day, and a play that will live on in infamy. Both players continue to patrol major league outfields today, but that fateful collision will always be etched in their minds.
In 2007, the Mets played the Houston Astros and took a 3-3 tie into the 14th inning. With two outs and a runner on third, pinch hitter Luke Scott hit a ball to deep center field, seemingly a game winner. Beltran, who had been hearing the boos all night from his former fans in Houston, had different ideas.
Beltran sprinted towards deep center, as he had during his stint with the Astros. For some reason in Houston there is an inclined area of field in deep center, and Beltran had to take two long strides up the hill and then make an amazing game-saving-over-the-shoulder catch to send the game into the 15th inning. It remains one of the most clutch and spectacular defensive plays in the franchise's history.
In the 17th inning Beltran drove in Jose Reyes to complete his day and send the Astros fans home unhappy.
Carlos Beltran's 2-R HR in game one of the 2006 NLCS lifted the Mets to a 1-0 series lead.
In the first game of the 2006 NLCS Tom Glavine squared off against Jeff Weaver. It was a scoreless tie into the sixth inning when Beltran stepped to the plate with Paul Lo Duca on first. Beltran connected with his sweeping left-handed swing and belted a ball deep into the night.
The blast gave the Mets a 2-0 lead and they eventually won the game by that score. It was a breathtaking moment in the Series, and had Mets fans believing they were well on their way to the World Series.
2006 was a phenomenal year for the Mets and this moment from Game 1 was an unforgettable one for their championship-starved fanbase. Beltran's big blast gave them the series lead and added to his legend of clutch playoff performances, a legend that would be shattered later in the series.
This photo completely encapsulates the moment the franchise began their nose dive.
Unfortunately, Carlos Beltran will always be remembered by Mets fans for his caught-looking strikeout in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. It's a moment that devastates Mets fans to this day, and it's one that some still refuse to talk about.
It wasn't supposed to happen like this...
The game was a pitching duel between Jeff Suppan and Oliver Perez (yes, that Oliver Perez). The game was tied 1-1 in the 6th inning when Scott Rolen hit a deep fly ball to left field. Off the bat it seemed like a sure home run and Mets fans in Shea let out a collective groan. Endy Chavez though made the greatest catch in MLB playoff history and Shea Stadium erupted. If anyone doubted that this was the Mets year this play surely convinced them that the baseball gods were with them.
Then, in the top of the 9th Yadier Molina hit a solo home run to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. When the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the 9th they lead off with two singles. After getting two outs Cardinals' closer Adam Wainwright walked Paul Lo Duca. This was seemingly shaping up in true 1986 World Series Game 6 fashion.
Beltran stepped to the plate, and the moment Mets fans envisioned with a game winning single—followed by a frenzy of joy and champagne celebration—never matriculated. A nasty curveball from Wainwright was watched by Beltran as it landed at the knees, and the Mets season was over.
The Mets have not come close to the success of that 2006 season and many consider that to have been the year the Mets were supposed to win. For Mets fans, their lasting image of Beltran will be him shaking his head as the Cardinals celebrated in Shea.
Farewell Mr. Beltran, wish you would've swung.
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