After twenty years, Carlos Beltran is retiring from baseball. He announced it today in an emotional article in The Players’ Tribune. The news doesn’t exactly come as a surprise; he finally won a World Series with the Houston Astros last month, and many speculated that achieving that final apex would be both a pinnacle and finale to his illustrious career.
40-year-old Carlos Beltran has played in the Major Leagues for twenty years. For all you Mathletes out there, that’s half his life spent playing this beautiful, crazy game. And Beltran is one of the greatest players of his generation, maybe even two generations, considering how long he’s been in the MLB.
In twenty years, Carlos Beltran (he’s a two-namer to me) played for the Royals, Astros, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, and Rangers, before returning to Houston this year for a final season and first World Series victory.
As a Red Sox fan, I’m happy that Beltran finally won a World Series. We robbed him of that chance in 2004 and again in 2013. It took him fifteen years just to get to a World Series, but 2013 was our year. He’s one of the best postseason hitters in the game, and even was hailed as the second coming of “Mr. October,” “Señor Octubre.” As an emotional person and lover of the nostalgic side of baseball, I was thrilled to watch Beltran celebrate his first World Series win in what we now know was his final Major League game.
His accolades are numerous, though I have no doubt this new World Series ring will shine the brightest. Beltran was the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year, a 9-time All-Star, a member of the 30-30 club (30 HR and 30 stolen bases in the same season), and only the fifth player ever to reach both 400 homers and 300 stolen bases. He finishes his career with 2,725 hits, 1,587 RBIs, 312 stolen bases, and 435 home runs. His trophy case holds a Roberto Clemente Award, three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. An illustrious career, indeed.
“And as I got older, and I became the player that the younger guys came to for advice, I started to understand something … that my purpose in this game is not only to hit home runs or to win championships. It is to share what I know with the younger players, like so many other players have done for me.
It is to give back to the game of baseball.” – Carlos Beltran, The Players’ Tribune
Carlos Beltran is the kind of player I always admired, even when he was hitting bombs against the Red Sox. He was not only an enormous talent, but seemed like a genuinely good human being, too. Like David Ortiz, he made it his mission to give back to baseball by advising and mentoring young players the same way he had been fortunate to receive counsel from players who came before him. For Carlos Beltran, some of those advisors included OG Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, and Barry Bonds. I have no doubt that many of his teammates on the Astros benefitted greatly from playing with him this season. The baseball world will definitely miss the man who seemingly became a constant over the past two decades.
Congratulations, Carlos Beltran. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.