After 20 years, today Carlos Beltran has decided to hang it up. In true iconic fashion, his last season as a pro ended with him finally winning a World Series as a member of the Houston Astros. Announcing his retirement with a letter in The Players Tribune – where he talked about the advice and lessons he’d received as a young player from Barry Bonds, and tips from Yankee Legend Reggie Jackson on adjustments he should make to allow him to play longer during the later years of his career. Beltran was a true student of the game – which not only made him a tremendous ball player, it allowed him to play for twenty years successfully, which is a feat in itself.
Beltran began his career with the Kansas City Royals – where he was named American League Rookie of the Year in 1999. He with with the Royals until 2004. He would go on to play for the Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and back to the Houston Astros for what would turn out to be his last season in the big leagues.
He was a 9-time All-Star, he won 3 Gold Glove Awards, 2 Silver Slugger Awards, and 2 Fielding Bible Awards. He joined the 30-30 club and won the highly coveted Roberto Clemente Award – which is given annually to a Major League Baseball player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team” as voted on by fans and members of the media. Beltran hit a total of 435 in his career, along with 2,725 hits, 1,587 RBI’s, 312 stolen bases, and had a career batting average of .279.
Carlos Beltran will no doubt be a first ballot inductee into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Here’s to an amazing career – enjoy retirement Mr. Beltran.