Adrian Beltre is one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball. AB is also one of the most underrated players in Major League Baseball. On Sunday, AB hit a standup double in Arlington to become the 31st player in MBL history to join the 3,000 hits club. He is the first Dominican player and the second Latino player (Alex Rodriguez was the first Latino player) to join the elite 3K hits club.
The Texas Rangers third baseman is now in his 20th MLB season. You would never know the Captain is 38 years old when he is on the field. The five-time Golden Glove winner, four-time All Star and a four-time Silver Slugger award winner is one of the best all around players of his generation. AB is also the only player in Major League history to hit for the cycle as both a visitor and as a member of the home team in the same ballpark. All three times he has hit for the cycle have come in Arlington.
As a Texas Rangers fan, I have LOVED watching AB play the game. He has a signature swing that somehow allows him to go yard from his knees and he makes incredible plays on the field. He’s not the captain because he is the old guy, but because he is the most respected player on and off the field. I know I am biased, but the Rangers are the most entertaining team to watch. They love playing the game and it shows. And AB brings all the fun.
Even when he gets ejected from a game, it’s hilarious!
After reaching second base on Sunday, the game paused to celebrate history. AB’s three children ran to right field to reveal the 3K banner and then sprinted to second base to congratulate their dad. AB said that moment, seeing his kids run toward him with their arms outstretched, was the best moment of his life. “I saw the joy in their faces. A lot of things you do in your career, you do for your family. My kids and my wife have been supportive over the years. This was for them.”
Cooperstown is saving a spot for Adrian Beltre! There are only five players in the 3,000 hits club who are not currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Three of them, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, and Alex Rodriguez are not eligible. Pete Rose is ineligible with his current ban from baseball. And then there’s Rafael Palmerio and that is a debate for later. But as the baseball gods continue to write history, there was no coincidence that Sunday was also the same day the newest members of Cooperstown were inducted into the Hall of Fame.