Adrian Beltre said he felt like he was in a cloud as he rounded first base on a fourth-inning double for his 3,000th hit Sunday afternoon. Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com
Adrian Beltre said he felt like he was in a cloud as he rounded first base on a fourth-inning double for his 3,000th hit Sunday afternoon. Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre’s 3,000th hit just the beginning of a milestone run

By Stefan Stevenson

sstevenson@star-telegram.com

July 30, 2017 9:11 PM

ARLINGTON

Adrian Beltre was already destined to land in Cooperstown, N.Y., once the 38-year-old Texas Rangers’ third baseman decides to retire.

Sunday’s milestone moment, however, was a reminder to anyone who may be slow to the realization that he is one of the very best to ever play the game.

Beltre became the 31st player to reach the 3,000-hit mark, with a hard-hit double down the left-field line in the fourth inning. It came on a 3-0 pitch, the first 3,000th hit to come on such a count. It came against left-hander Wade Miley, who earned the win as the Baltimore Orioles tried to spoil the moment with a 10-6 win Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park.

I never had that feeling on the baseball field before, and it was a proud moment for me. I was really proud of what I have done.

Adrian Beltre on his kids joining him on the field after his 3,000th hit

Beltre’s moment, of course, will never be tarnished. It could, however, eventually be just one of a long list of his rarefied accomplishments. As well as he’s playing in his 20th season, there seems to be no reason, physically at least, that Beltre couldn’t keep adding to his Hall of Fame résumé for several more years.

Adding to the emotion of the moment was Beltre’s three children joining him on the field to celebrate as 32,437 in attendance roared with delight. His kids first ran out to the outfield fence in right-center field to unveil a tribute to 3,000 hits. They then returned to the infield, where Beltre stood smiling wide, trying to embrace the moment as they raced toward him for hugs.

Elvis Andrus cherishes Adrian Beltre's moment: 'He's part of history'

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said Adrian Beltre is a part of baseball history and will continue to be as he reaches new milestones and passes more Hall of Famers in offensive categories.

Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

“What happened today after the hit has been the best moment in my life. I didn’t know how to feel because I had no idea what was going on,” Beltre said. “I thought they were coming to hug me, but they just passed me and went into right field. It was a nice moment. I saw the joy in their faces, and a lot of things you do in your career you do for your kids and your family. My kids and my wife have been so supportive over the years, that this moment was for them.

“When I saw that, I felt like I was on a cloud, because I really saw the joy in their faces.”

The first hit of his career was a double for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 1998. That also came against a left-hander, the Angels’ Chuck Finley. Beltre is tied with Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente for 30th all time at 3,000 hits. Hall of Famer Al Kaline is next on the list with 3,007.

In fact, all but six of the players with 3,000 or more hits are in the Hall of Fame. Three of them, including Beltre, aren’t yet eligible, and the other three have been tainted by the PED scandals of years past.

Sunday’s double was his 605th, which tied him with Hall of Famer Paul Molitor for 14th all-time. With 30 more doubles he’ll be in the top 10 all time.

“He means so much to this organization and this team. He’s a mentor to every single player, coach. There are things I learn every single day from him that are irreplaceable,” manager Jeff Banister said. “To see him enjoy the moment. You could see it in his face. That moment, in his eyes, in his body language you could tell the emotion [was there]. To watch a true baseball warrior let the guard down just for an ultra second to enjoy it, to embrace it, it was perfect for all of us.

Beltre shared some of his trademark humor when asked how much longer he’ll play.

Adrian Beltre called seeing his kids on the field for the moment his greatest memory

Adrian Beltre said seeing the joy in his kids' eyes after they joined him on the field to celebrate his 3,000th hit was the most special moment in his life.

Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

“Ask that question to my wife,” he joked, maybe. “I feel pretty good. Obviously I’m going on a year-to-year basis. If I feel like my body is good enough to play and I keep enjoying this game, I might stay for a year or two, I don’t know. Obviously, my main reason is, if I stay to win the World Series. Obviously if I don’t win it in the next three years and I don’t feel like my body’s holding up to play to the level that I want to produce, I might just go home.”

And five years after that he’ll be in Cooperstown.

Beltre’s bona fides

Here’s where Beltre ranks all-time in many of the major offensive categories:

Stat

No.

Rank

Next, total

Hits

3,000

30th

Al Kaline, 3,007

Doubles

605

14th

Paul Waner, 606

Home runs

454

38th

Miguel Cabrera, 458

Total bases

5,041

20th

Mel Ott, 5,041

RBIs

1,607

32nd

Goose Goslin,1,612

At bats

10,482

19th

Alex Rodriguez, 10,566

Extra-base hits

1,096

21st

Eddie Murray, 1,099

Games

2,771

27th

Tony Perez, 2,777

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

Baltimore

000

451

000

10

13

1

Texas

000

201

030

6

7

1

Baltimore AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Jones cf

5

1

0

0

0

2

.272

Machado 3b

4

2

3

0

1

0

.243

Schoop 2b

4

2

2

3

1

1

.305

Mancini dh

4

2

2

1

1

0

.299

Davis 1b

4

2

2

1

0

1

.226

Castillo c

4

1

2

4

0

0

.280

Rickard lf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.251

Tejada ss

4

0

0

1

0

0

.227

Gentry rf

4

0

2

0

0

0

.197

Totals 37

10

13

10

3

5

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields lf

4

0

0

0

0

2

.273

Choo ph

1

0

0

0

0

1

.249

Andrus ss

4

0

0

0

0

1

.285

Mazara rf

4

2

1

1

1

1

.247

Beltre 3b

5

2

1

0

0

2

.307

Napoli dh

4

0

0

0

0

3

.203

Odor 2b

4

2

3

5

0

0

.221

Gomez cf

2

0

1

0

0

1

.247

Robinson cf

0

0

0

0

1

0

.217

Chirinos c

3

0

0

0

0

2

.216

Nicholas c

1

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Gallo 1b

3

0

1

0

1

1

.200

Totals 35

6

7

6

3

14

E—Machado (11), Beltre (2). LOB—Baltimore 3, Texas 7. 2B—Machado 2 (21), Beltre (14). HR—Schoop (24), off Perez; Castillo (10), off Jeffress; Odor (21), off O’Day; Mazara (13), off Castro; Odor (22), off Hart. RBIs—Schoop 3 (76), Mancini (56), Davis (37), Castillo 4 (32), Tejada (5), Mazara (64), Odor 5 (49). CS—Gentry (2). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 3 (Beltre 2, Chirinos). RISP—Baltimore 5 for 8; Texas 1 for 7. Runners moved up—Rickard, Mazara. GIDP—Mancini, Tejada, Nicholas. DP—Baltimore 1 (Schoop, Tejada, Davis); Texas 2 (Odor, Andrus, Gallo), (Beltre, Odor, Gallo).

Baltimore

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Miley, W, 5-9

5

4

2

2

1

5

105

5.60

O’Day

1

1

1

1

0

3

20

4.91

Brach

1

0

0

0

0

2

17

2.64

Castro

 1/3

1

2

2

0

2

15

3.33

Hart

 2/3

1

1

1

2

0

14

2.76

Givens

 1/3

0

0

0

0

1

5

1.93

Britton, S, 8-8

 2/3

0

0

0

0

1

10

3.32

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Perez, L, 5-9

4 1/3

9

8

8

2

3

102

5.13

Jeffress

2 2/3

3

2

2

1

1

37

5.31

Grilli

2

1

0

0

0

1

23

6.28

Hart pitched to 1 batter in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored—Hart 1-1, Givens 1-0, Britton 2-0, Jeffress 2-2. HBP—Miley (Gomez), Givens (Andrus). WP—Castro. Umpires—Home, Chris Segal; First, Mike Everitt; Second, Jordan Baker; Third, Bruce Dreckman. T—3:47. A—32,437 (48,114).

Rangers vs. Mariners

7:05 p.m. Monday, FSSW

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