Adrian Beltre Announces Retirement from MLB After 21-Year Career

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2018

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, July 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Third baseman Adrian Beltre is calling it a career after 21 memorable seasons in Major League Baseball.

The Texas Rangers tweeted the following statement from Beltre:

#ThankYouAB @Rangers

#ThankYouAB https://t.co/wZO9K18yVJ

Beltre entered the league in 1998 and played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and Rangers.

The 39-year-old finished his career with impressive numbers across the board, with slash totals of .286/.339/.480 to go along with 477 home runs and 1,707 RBI. The likely Hall of Famer amassed four All-Star appearances, five Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards.

He could win a game with his bat or save one with his glove.

Beltre tallied five seasons with more than 100 RBI and 12 seasons with 20 or more home runs, including his dominant 2004 campaign when he was a member of the Dodgers and slashed .334/.388/.629 with 48 long balls and 121 RBI. He finished second in the National League MVP voting behind Barry Bonds.

While he ultimately elected to walk away, he wasn't sure if he was going to play in 2019 as the 2018 season drew to an end.

"Yeah, it could be my last," Beltre said before the Rangers' final homestand of 2018, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "But I'm trying not to think about it. I don't know what to think about it. Nothing is 100 percent."

Last season, Beltre was limited to 119 games because of injury, but he still hit .273 with 15 homers and 65 RBI.

His retirement comes after he was able to bolster his resume with milestone accomplishments.

His 3,000th career hit came during the 2017 season against the Baltimore Orioles, and he drilled the 475th home run of his career in 2018. The 475th long ball tied Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 30th on the all-time list.

"Anytime you mention those guys' names, you have accomplished something," Beltre said, per T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. "I am proud of what I have done. It is nice to be able accomplish something that for me, down the road, will be a little more special."

Beltre was more than just a statistics machine and was known for an endearing personality. Teammates—notably Elvis Andrusoften joked by touching his head to garner a reaction, and he frequently engaged in amusing interactions with opponents and even umpires.

Just for good measure, Beltre was named MLB's Personality of the Year in 2017.

The one thing missing from his resume is a World Series ring, although he reached the playoffs five times and helped lead the Rangers to the 2011 Fall Classic. While his team lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, Beltre connected on five home runs in 17 playoff games that year.

He now turns his attention to retirement and a potential reservation in Cooperstown down the line after a tremendous major league career. Meanwhile, the Rangers have in-house options to attempt to replace Beltre in 2019, including Jurickson Profar and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.