The Fort Worth Zoo will have a distinguished visitor, a future member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, pass through its gates at some point before long.
Adrian Beltre, the 31st and newest member of baseball’s 3,000-hit club, wants to meet his namesake.
The Texas Rangers third baseman said on Tuesday that he had already been informed that the zoo named one of its two reticulated male giraffe calves Beltre, with the zoo saying it “wanted to give this calf a name that embodied his strength and liveliness that was apparent from Day One.”
They announced the name Sunday after Beltre collected his 3,000th hit. The giraffe, born June 8, was up on his feet a day after being delivered. He was a 6-footer at birth.
“He’s already taller than me,” said Beltre, who is 5-foot-11. “It’s an honor for me to have such a distinct animal to be named Beltre. It’s funny, but it’s an honor. I’m humbled that anybody would think of doing something like that. It’s pretty cool.”
Beltre is the father of three, so he knows his way around a zoo. The kids are big fans of zoos, he said, and there’s no doubt he will make his way to one of the nation’s top-rated zoos.
“We eventually will,” Beltre said. “I’m going to get my picture with him.”