Adrian Beltre has earned the respect of every Texas Rangers player, coach and staff member. But you probably already knew that.
Beltre is echoing that respect by gifting his teammates and staffers with some priceless mementos from his 3,000th hit game July 30. Though one of the gifts is quite pricey.
The future Hall of Famer is giving each of them a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label scotch, which retails for about $229. They’re also getting a high-resolution print of the Rangers’ official lineup card from the eventful game, and Beltre has ordered special cigars adorned with his own personal label. He’s still waiting for those to come in.
“I wanted to do some things for my teammates as a thank you for all the support and all the nice things they’ve done for me,” Beltre said. “My teammates wanted me to do it probably more than I wanted to do it. They were really fabulous trying to make sure I was ready to accomplish what I did. Not just this year but over the years they’ve been supportive of me and it has been easy to come here and do my job.”
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Manager Jeff Banister said the humility and deference Pudge Rodriguez showed during Saturday’s jersey retirement is similar to that of Beltre.
“Understanding there is a supporting cast of people who are with you, who help you, drive you, motivate you,” Banister said. “You don’t get to these places in your career without others, and Adrian is exactly the same way. I think he understands the importance and the impact he has, not only on the people outside of baseball but inside these walls. [He’s a] mentor, captain, field leader and general inspiration.”
Beltre, at 38, is aware that his teammates not only respect him but look up to him.
“For me, that’s obviously humbling to see them taking after me a little bit and asking me questions and joking around with me,” he said. “It’s a nice relationship. We have a really good chemistry here. It’s like a brotherhood.”
The Rangers announced another Beltre-related giveaway. The first 15,000 fans at the Sept. 9 game against the New York Yankees will receive mini on-deck circle mouse pads with a facsimile of Beltre’s signature. This giveaway, of course, is in reference to Beltre being ejected by umpire Gerry Davis on July 26 after he moved the on-deck circle closer to where he was standing.