Adrian Beltre turns 35 years old today. 35! That’s typically an age in which we see some decline in play in baseball players; especially infielders. But Beltre is still going strong, better than ever I would even say. So much so that our very own Lisa Weatherall wrote about AB’s knack for clutchness (new word, you’re welcome Webster) just last week.
The 2014 season is Beltre’s fourth with the Rangers. (Already!) I remember when Beltre signed ahead of the 2011 season.
I thought he was solid, not special. I also thought it was a lot of money and was kind of happy to see that the Rangers could void the deal if he didn’t reach a certain number of at-bats in ’14 and ’15 (1,200 at-bats for both years combined or 600 at-bats for 2015).
And here we are starting 2014, and I cannot imagine this team without him. I’ve been making a bold statement all morning that Beltre is the highest ranking 3rd baseman on the Rangers’ all-time list. I just kind of said it flippantly at first, and then I realized, he’s not far off, if he’s off at all. I mean, he really only has competition from one guy. And NO, I don’t mean Dean Palmer. I mean one Mr. David Gus Bell. But you can call him Buddy.
Buddy Bell of course should not be taken lightly. The guy was a very bright spot for seven seasons of not-so-awesome Texas Rangers baseball; the team only finished over .500 in one of those seasons (1979). But Bell still managed to win five Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger award, and make four All-Star teams.
But there are two things to consider here: 1. There is a lot to be said for winning. Your Texas Rangers are 283-210 (.574) since Beltre’s arrival. And 2. It’s not Buddy Bell’s birthday.
So today, Adrian Beltre is your King of Texas Rangers 3rd Baseman. How should we celebrate?
Should we pat him on the head?
Give him a high-five?
Or a hug?
Should we drop to one knee?
Maybe we should just celebrate in the most Adrian Beltre way possible: By beating the Boston Red Sox tonight. What do you think Adrian?
See? I told you guys he would like that.
Game time is 6:00PM; Tanner Scheppers is on the hill.
6 down, 156 to go.
Your Texas Rangers are 3-3.