Carlos Beltrán’s five best baseball moments
Outfielder retires as a World Series winner with the Houston Astros after a 20-year MLB career
Carlos Beltrán is going out on top. After an accomplished 20-year career in major league baseball, the center fielder and Houston Astros designated hitter wrote in The Players’ Tribune on Monday that he has decided to call it quits.
Beltrán retires after an illustrious career, one that actually didn’t involve going through Triple-A. So we’ve compiled five of Beltrán’s best moments in baseball. Although five isn’t nearly enough for someone of his pedigree, below are some high notes, highlight-reel plays and a personal anecdote about one of his best days.
1. Finishes 20-year career with 2017 World Series title
Leading up to the 2017 MLB postseason, Beltrán had a résumé that included nine All-Star Game selections, three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger honors and the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year Award. But the one thing every baseball player competes for each season, a World Series title, had eluded him during his 20-year career, which included stops on seven teams.
Beltrán missed out on his first trip to a Fall Classic 11 years earlier with his game-ending strikeout in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series as a member of the New York Mets. Seven years later, the center fielder tasted his first World Series action as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Boston Red Sox won that series 4-2.
In his final major league season, Beltrán finally picked a winner, as the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-3, in the 2017 World Series. The 40-year-old designated hitter was brought to tears as he finally got his World Series title in his last game as a player.
Carlos Beltran, with tears running down his face, is finally a World Champion. pic.twitter.com/j1fuxvq1kh
— Rich MacLeod (@richmacleod) November 2, 2017
Carlos Beltran was one of 3 active players with 2,500+ games played who had never won a WS. Still ring-free: Adrian Beltre & Ichiro
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 2, 2017
2. Ties Barry BonDS for most homers in a single postseason
There’s only Barry Bonds (2002), Beltrán (2004) and Nelson Cruz (2011) when it comes to most home runs in a single postseason. However, Beltrán’s 2004 heroics are on a plateau of their own, as he hit his eight postseason deep balls in only 56 appearances at the plate, while Bonds needed 74 and Cruz required 70.
In the first postseason game of his career, Beltrán took Atlanta Braves starter Jaret Wright to task with a two-run homer in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the National League Division Series. While Bonds’ and Cruz’s teams advanced to their respective World Series, Beltrán’s Astros fell short, losing to the Cardinals in the NLCS.
3. three-run shot Hits the “H” on the Mariners’ scoreboard
With two outs and two on and the Texas Rangers trailing 8-0 in the top of the sixth inning, Beltrán belted Ariel Miranda’s pitch with so much force that when it hit the “H” on the scoreboard, it knocked it down on Sept. 7, 2016.
It wasn’t enough to help the Rangers win — they lost, 8-3, to the Seattle Mariners — but Beltrán’s hitting streak was kept alive and extended to 10 games.