Beltre joins 3,000-hit club
Texas third baseman becomes 31st player to achieve feat.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Beltre got his 3,000th career hit in a fitting way — a hard hit down the line past third base.
The Texas Rangers third baseman doubled Sunday to become the first player from the Dominican Republic, and 31st overall, to accumulate 3,000 hits in the major leagues.
He reached the milestone in the Texas Rangers’ 10-6 loss
to the Baltimore Orioles.
The Rangers were down 4-0 in the fourth inning when Beltre, 38, lined a 3-0 pitch off Wade Miley that went past the bag and then ricocheted off the side wall into left field.
A banner was unfurled high above straightaway center field congratulating Beltre
after his hit. His teammates, who had crowded on the rail of their first-base dugout to be as close as possible to the historic moment, flooded onto the field to celebrate with him.
Beltre’s two daughters and 10-year-old son Adrian Jr. left their front-row seats near the dugout they had shared with other family members and ran to right-center field. The kids helped unveil a logo commemorating the accomplishment on the wall in front of the Rangers bullpen, then went and hugged their father on the infield dirt.
On a sun-soaked afternoon with temperatures in the 90s, they stood in anticipation and started cheering when Beltre was introduced in his 2,771st career game. Now in his 20th big league season, he is only the third player who is pri- marily a third baseman in the 3,000-hit club, joining Hall of Famers George Brett and Wade Boggs.
The milestone came only minutes after former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez fin- ished his induction speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Bar- ring unusual circumstances, getting 3,000 hits has traditionally been a ticket to the Hall.
“It’s one of those days that as a Ranger, you’ll forever remember that this is, on the calendar year, Ranger Day,” Manager Jeff Banister said before the game, referring to Beltre as the “next Hall of Famer.”
After the fourth inning, a pre-recorded message from Rodriguez in Cooperstown congratulating Beltre for 3,000 hits was played on the stadium video boards.
“I just think it’s amazing,” said Jeff Bagwell, who was inducted with Rodriguez. “He’s just an amazing baseball player, arguably one of the best third basemen of all time. He can do everything. He plays hurt, he hits for average, he hits for power, drives in runs. He’s a great, great player.”
The only other current active player in the 3,000-hit club is Miami outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who is tied with Hall of Fame player Craig Biggio for 22nd all-time at 3,060 hits.
Beltre is now tied for 30th place on the hits list with Roberto Clemente. Al Kaline (3,007) and Boggs (3,010) are next up on the list.
Beltre’s first hit came as a 19-year-old rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 1998, four years after they had signed him. He spent 7 seasons with the Dodgers, 5 years in Seattle and 1 in Boston before joining the Rangers in 2011, the year he finally made it to a World Series.
The double was Beltre’s 1,111th hit with the Rangers, after 949 with the Dodgers, 751 with the Mariners, and 189 in his season with the Red Sox before going to Texas as a free agent.
He has never bunted for a hit.
“You don’t see many players that universally respected and liked, and everything he does on the field is sincere,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said during the series. “I don’t know if anybody in the game has more universal respect from the opposition. … I love to watch him play. It seems like he’s playing his first game in Little League.”
Jonathan Schoop and Welington Castillo hit home runs in a five-run fifth for a 9-2 Orioles lead. Castillo also had the last of three consecutive RBI singles off Martin Perez (5-9) in the fourth.
Miley (5-9) allowed four hits in five innings.
Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hits a double off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wade Miley in the fourth inning Sunday in Arlington, Texas, for his 3,000th career hit. Beltre became the 31st player in major league history to record at least 3,000 hits and the first since Ichiro Suzuki in 2016.
BELTRE’S GORDON, ESCOBAR career statistics. Page 5C
lead Royals to win over Red Sox. Page 4C Adrian Beltre (right) is congratulated by Texas Rangers Manager Jeff Banister after getting his 3,000th career hit Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles. On the inside