Bel­tran an­nounces he’s re­tir­ing af­ter 20 sea­sons

BASEBALL

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS -

Chi Chi Ro­driguez: “To be suc­cess­ful in life, Car­los, you have to sur­round your­self with suc­cess­ful peo­ple. You can’t be afraid to ask ques­tions to those peo­ple that you look up to.”

Bel­tran made it a point to en­gage with other ballplay­ers, even those who _ from the out­side _ ap­peared un­touch­able, like Barry Bonds.

“Through­out my ca­reer I tried to get as much knowl­edge out of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity as I could,” Bel­tran ex­plained. “I would look around the league at the play­ers who I had the ul­ti­mate re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion for — guys like Bernie Wil­liams, Jeff Bag­well, Craig Big­gio, Car­los Del­gado, Ivan Ro­driguez, Alex Ro­driguez and Derek Jeter, among oth­ers — and I would fol­low Chi Chi’s ad­vice. I would ask these play­ers, ‘ Hey, what have you got for me? What can I do to be a bet­ter ballplayer?’ “

Al­though he al­ways dreamed of win­ning a World Se­ries, Bel­tran said he never felt like he “needed to” to com­plete his ca­reer. It just hap­pened to work out when he re-joined the Astros be­fore last sea­son.

“I re­al­ized early on that my pur­pose in this game was to share knowl­edge with younger play­ers and to give back to the game of baseball. I al­ways wanted to do that — that, and be the best team­mate I could pos­si­bly be,” Bel­tran wrote. “Over 20 years, I feel like I ac­com­plished that. So whether we won or lost Game 7 (against the Dodgers), I would have still been happy with my ca­reer.

“But it still feels nice to

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