Carlos Beltran, a nine-time MLB All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, announced his retirement from baseball Monday on The Players’ Tribune. Although Beltran has spent the past seven years of his career playing for the Cardinals, Yankees, Rangers, and Astros, he had the most personal success with the Mets from 2005 to 2011 after the team signed him to a seven-year contract in January 2005.
Beltran played the first seven seasons of his career with the Royals, and it was with that club that he won Rookie of the Year in 1999 and established himself as one of the best players in baseball in the early 2000s. In 2004, Beltran was in the middle of another splendid season with Kansas City, but the franchise traded him to the contending Astros because it knew that it couldn’t afford to sign him to a long-term contract. During his first stint in Houston, Beltran had one of the most memorable postseason runs in recent history, smashing eight home runs in 12 games to bring the Astros within one game of the National League pennant.
You could say that Beltran did all he could to earn a championship ring with Houston, and he’d end up getting one, but not until the 2017 campaign when he returned to the Astros as a veteran free agent. This time around, the 40-year-old Beltran collected just three hits in 10 games, but the younger players rallied around him and won the franchise’s first World Series title.
It’s safe to say that the fans of Houston are no longer upset at Beltran for spurning them for the Mets during the 2004-05 offseason. And while some Mets fans are still mad at the center fielder for striking out at the end of the 2006 NLCS, most of them recognize Beltran as one of the great players in franchise history. It was with New York that Beltran won all three of his Gold Glove Awards, both of his Silver Slugger Awards, and experienced five of his nine All-Star games.
With over 2,700 hits and 400 home runs in his career to go with a reputation as once of the best athletes ever to roam center field, there’s a good chance that Beltran is voted into the Hall of Fame one day, and if that happens, he could be the third ever player to go in as a representative of the New York Mets.