Coming off a high of winning the World Series with the Houston Astros, Carlos Beltran has announced his retirement at age 40. Beltran had an incredible, hitting 435 home runs while stealing 312 bases. Not only could he steal, but he stole efficiently, having the third best-stolen base rate in history. He is just the 5th player to ever reach both 400 Home Runs and 300 stolen bases in their career, and the fourth switch-hitter to hit more than 400 home runs. He ends his career with a 69.8 WAR.
Beltran started his solid career playing for the Kansas City Royals, with his best full season coming in 2002 where he played 162 games and hit 29 homers with 35 steals. He was, of course, traded to the Houston Astros in 2004, when he became part of the Killer Bee squad for half a season before moving onto the team he spent more time with than any other club, the New York Mets.
Despite an illustrious Mets career, especially in 2006 when he set his single-season career high with 41 home runs, he will always be remembered in a Mets uniform as striking out looking to a young Adam Wainwright curveball in the 2006 NLCS to end the series. Despite the unfairness of it, the win with the Astros in 2017 takes some of that pain away, (though not for Mets fans). He was so much more in his Mets career than that one painful moment. He made the All-Star game 5 times and won his 3 Gold Gloves with the Mets from 2005-2011.
Beltran briefly played with the Giants and the Cardinals, making it to the World Series with the Birds in 2013 who lost to the Red Sox in 6 games. He then played with the Yankees, the Rangers, and for his final season, the Houston Astros.
He made the playoffs seven years of his career, maintaining a .307 average with 16 home runs and 42 RBI, quite the addition to his already impressive resume. He was a 9-time All-Star, a Rookie of the Year, won 3 Gold Gloves and Two Silver Sluggers.
Beltran leaves behind quite a legacy. Beltran runs the Carlos Beltran Foundation, which helps underprivileged families with health and fitness. His heart was as big off the field as it was on. He should be a sure-fire Hall of Famer with the kind of career he had, one just wonders whether it will be a Royals or Mets cap he wears. No matter what he goes into the Hall as Beltran will always be remembered as one of the best switch hitters of all time.
Photo Credit: Telemundodeportes.com