For years, statistically inclined baseball fans have pointed to Adrian Beltre’s career totals in categories both new-age and traditional and noted that the Rangers third baseman was not only an All-Star but also an all-time great.
Well on Sunday, Beltre gave the rest of the baseball world reason to recognize his Cooperstown-worthy resume, when he lashed a double down the left-field line for his 3,000th career hit.
Adrian Beltre, welcome to the 3000 club ?
— Baseball King (@BasebaIlKing) July 30, 2017
Beltre, 38, becomes the 31st player ever to accrue 3,000 hits. He’s also the third third baseman to accomplish the feat and the first who was born in the Dominican Republic.
To put Beltre’s career into perspective a bit, his 92.4 career WAR (per Baseball-Reference) ranks 29th all-time among position players. That may seem absurd, until you consider that Beltre has lasted 20 years in the Majors, racking up 3,000 hits, 454 homers, and a .820 OPS, while playing truly elite defense at a premium position. If there was any doubt before Sunday, it’s now all but official: Adrian Beltre will one day have a plaque at the Hall of Fame.
Just consider this: There were 3 players inducted into HOF today. Adrian Beltre has more hits, HRs and RBIs than any of them
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) July 30, 2017
Beltre is 38 years old and 20 years into his career, but he’s still going strong, with a .310/.387/.538 slash line this season that ranks among the best of his career. That means it’s possible—maybe not likely, but possible—that he’ll last long enough to hit 46 more home runs and get to 500 for his career. Then we can all celebrate one of the greatest third basemen of all-time, all over again.