Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre became the 31st player in Major League Baseball history to reach 3,000 career hits with his double in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
Beltre is one of the youngest ever to reach the historical mark, per MLB Stat of the Day:
Now in his 20th MLB season, Beltre has been one of the best all-around players of his generation. The 38-year-old is a five-time Gold Glove winner, four-time All Star and four-time Silver Slugger.
Even as he approaches 40, Beltre is showing no signs of slowing down. He entered Sunday's game hitting .310 with nine home runs and 36 RBI.
There was little doubt about Beltre's Hall of Fame credentials even before he got his 3,000th hit. Sports Illustrated's Jay Jaffe wrote this regarding Dominican Republic star going into Cooperstown back in 2016:
"Though he has never won an MVP award and his All-Star and Gold Glove totals are modest (four apiece), the 37-year-old is closing in on 3,000 hits (he has 2,857) and already has 425 homers. What's more, his dazzling defense, which carried him through lean stretches in Los Angeles and Seattle, is backed by the metrics; he's second at the position in fielding runs (221) behind only Brooks Robinson (293), which has propelled him to fifth in JAWS, just ahead of likely 2018 enshrinee Chipper Jones."
Among players with at least 3,000 MLB hits, only Pete Rose, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro aren't currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jeter, Suzuki and Rodriguez aren't yet eligible, while Rose is ineligible for the Hall of Fame as part of his permanent ban from the sport.
Beltre made his MLB debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 1998, at the age of 19. He showed the arc his career would take in his first full season in 1999, hitting .275/.352/.428 while playing virtually the entire season at 20 years old.
Three-thousand hits later, Beltre has long-since cemented his place in MLB history. His 3,000th hit is the latest feather in his legendary cap as he continues to help the Rangers fight for a playoff spot in the American League.