Carlos Beltran announced his retirement yesterday. He leaves the game as a World Series Champion. Beltran had a distinguished 20 year career with seven teams in the majors. He had a career batting average of .279 amassing 435 HRs (46th most all time) and 2,725 hits. However, by October of this year, the fairy tale wasn’t complete yet as a World Series ring eluded Beltran throughout his 20 year journey through the majors. He was one of only three active MLB players to have played over 2,500 games without a World Series ring (Can you guess who the other two are?). But, the fairy tale would have a happy ending as Beltran finally made it to the promised land and collected his World Series ring when the Houston Astros defeated the LA Dodgers to win the World Series in Game 7 this fall.
The World Series ring didn’t make or break his career, but it was a nice cherry on top. Beltran produced a 69.8 WAR over the span of his career. That places him firmly in the top 10 center fielders all time. He was also one of five players to hit 400 HRs with 300 stolen bases and the only switch hitter ever to do so. A rare combination of power and speed. He won various accolades during his career, including nine All Star appearances and three Gold Gloves. He was also voted American League Rookie of the year in 1999 whilst with the Kansas City Royals. A strong case for the Hall of Fame.
Carlos Beltran was also no stranger to the playoffs. He made no less than six trips to the playoffs and it can be argued that he was one of the greatest playoff hitters of all time batting .307 with 16 HRs in 65 playoff games.
A truly remarkable career by one of the most respected players in the majors. I thank Carlos for all the mesmerizing moments he provided baseball fans with and wish him all the best in his future endeavors (which may most likely include a managerial stint!).