At the end of the day, I will be shocked if Beltre doesn't have the Texas Rangers T on his hat this summer. He not only played eight seasons for the club, but he instantly became a leader on the team and a fan favorite. Beltre arrived in Arlington in 2011 when the team was fresh off the organization's first trip to the World Series. All he did that season was be selected to the All-Star team, win the Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove. He hit pivotal home runs in both Games 5 and 6 of the World Series and did all that he could to try and get the team across the finish line. Of the 28 postseason games that Beltre played throughout his career, 24 of them came in a Rangers uniform. Only his first four playoff games came elsewhere, and that was in 2004 with the Dodgers.
Texas Rangers hat the only real answer for Adrian Beltre
While Beltre finished up his career in Arlington with his ages 32 through 39 seasons, the slick-fielding third baseman was anything but washed up. Like a fine wine, Beltre seemed to get better with age. Across his eight seasons in Arlington, Beltre played in 1,098 games and had 1,277 hits along with 199 home runs. He ended up playing in more games, getting more hits, and more home runs in a Rangers uniform than any other single uniform in his career.
Several top performances and milestones also came in Arlington for the Dominican-born player. On July 30, 2017, Beltre joined the 3,000-hit club. He would end his career with 3,166 total hits which currently places him 17th on the list of most all-time hits. There are only 33 players in the history of MLB that have reached the 3,000-hit total. Beltre is in rarified air for sure. Beltre is not only in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame but also had his #29 retired by the team in June of 2019.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Beltre ranks third all-time in bWAR for the franchise at 41.1. That puts him just behind Ivan Rodriguez (50.0) and Rafael Palmeiro (44.6) and just ahead of fellow third baseman Buddy Bell (36.3). Nearly 44% of Beltre's career bWAR number of 93.5 came in Rangers blue and red despite it being on the back end of his playing career.
In his time with the Rangers not only did Beltre make three All-Star teams, and win two Silver Sluggers, and three Gold Gloves, but he also won the hearts of the Rangers fan base. He played the game hard, was tough as nails, and gave fans plenty to smile about along the way. From his quick feet dances, his constant banter with Elvis Andrus, hitting home runs from a knee, to moving the on-deck circle when an umpire told him to get in it, Beltre holds a special place in our hearts.
Beltre was a great player when he showed up in Arlington in 2011, but he became a legend and sealed his spot in the Hall of Fame once he got here. Rangers' fans will forever love Beltre no matter which hat he wears in Cooperstown, but I for one hope that it is the Texas T that is on the cap of our guy, Adrian Beltre, this summer. As you have seen, there are other options, but none of them hold a candle to the Texas Rangers.