Adrián Beltré, who currently plays for the Texas Rangers and is in his 20th Major League Baseball season, joined the exclusive 3,000 Hits Club on Sunday, July 30, 2017. This is a rare feat indeed – the third baseman is only the 31st player in MLB history to cross over the 3,000 mark. Let’s take a look back at Beltré’s career to see how he achieved this incredible goal.
Hittin’ That Cheese
Adrián Beltré hails from the Dominican Republic and was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was only 15 years old – a controversial move considering he was technically too young to play for an MLB team. However, he persevered by competing in the Dominican Summer League in 1995 and left his island home for minor league ball the following summer. His minor league performance was impressive, and he was called up to the big leagues in 1998 at age 19.
While his rookie year wasn’t big on hits with only 42 knocks, Beltré soon grew to be a ball smasher in his own right. The following year, he nailed 148 hits and continued with over 100 hits per season every year after that. He reached 200 hits in a season while playing for the Dodgers in 2004, and came very close to doing it a second time while playing for the Rangers in 2013, with 199 hits.
Beltré played for the Dodgers for seven seasons, racking up 949 hits in the process. He then entered MLB as a free agent and signed with the Seattle Mariners in 2005, netting 751 hits over five seasons. During a single season with the Boston Red Sox in 2010, he collected another 189 hits. He then headed over to the Texas Rangers, signing a contract worth $96 million over six years (this is his seventh year with the Rangers, by the way). So far, he’s accomplished more than 1,100 hits for the team.
Beltré joins 30 other MLB players in the 3,000 Hits Club. The most recent addition was Ichiro Suzuki, who nailed his 3,000th hit in 2016 and is the only other active MLB player in this exclusive club. Other baseball greats in the club include Willie Mays (his 3,000th hit was in 1970), Cal Ripken (2000), George Brett (1992), Wade Boggs (1999), Roberto Clemente (1972), Derek Jeter (whose 3,000th hit was a homer in 2011), Rod Carew (1985), and Alex Rodriguez (also with a homer in 2015). The first player to reach 3,000 hits was Cap Anson in 1897.
Whether you’ve been rooting for Beltré since his Dodgers days or have been keeping tabs on him through his Rangers career, be sure to check out the selection of Beltré swag at Fanatics.