Adrian Beltre is a baseball great who is often left out of the conversation about Major League heroes and superstars.
But the truth is, Adrian Beltre deserves to be in every single one of those conversations, and not just for his stats and play on the diamond, but for his antics and love of the game.
Let’s go ahead and get stats out of the way first. The kid from the Dominican Republic has put up serious numbers over his 19-year career (which will last at least this year if he is not signed to an extension), posting a .287 batting average, .821 OPS, hit 463 homers, and he has 1645 RBI’s. These numbers alone will make him a definite Hall of Famer whenever his career does come to an end, but the 39-year-old veteran is showing no signs of slowing down. In just 64 ABs this year, he is batting .281 with 1 homer and 3 RBI’s.
Okay, enough of the hall of fame part of his career, let’s get to what makes Adrian so enjoyable to watch and root for. Beltre plays every MLB game just like he’s a kid playing little league with his best friend having a good time. Whether he is decking the crowd and Elvis Andrus, acting like he’s gonna catch a pop-up, running out of the base path on purpose, or coaching on his off days, Beltre never leaves the fans bored.
As a kid playing in Little League from about 2005-2013, I was always a Red Sox fan because of my Dad, but as a player, my heart turned to Adrian Beltre as a specific player. He made kids realize all over the country that baseball is simply a game, and if you aren’t having fun with it, there really is no reason to show up. I have spent a countless amount of time, more than I would like to admit, watching Adrian Beltre highlights and seeing just how much fun he has every time he steps foot on the diamond, and that’s something the sport is truly missing. Too many people come up and take the sport seriously, and it ruins the feel of the game when everything is uptight and has to be perfect.
On the bright side, it looks as if young guys like Rafael Devers, Jose Altuve, and Beltre’s teammate Elvis Andrew will keep the game of baseball lighthearted and what it is, a game.
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