Adrian Beltre ripped a double down the left-field line and into the corner and put himself into baseball history.
The fourth-inning double Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park was the 3,000th hit of his career. Beltre became the 31st player to accomplish the feat.
At 38 and almost four months, Beltre is the ninth youngest player when he collected hit No. 3,000.
Beltre’s 605th double, which came on a 3-0 pitch, tied him with Hall of Famer Paul Molitor for 14th all-time.
He was joined by his kids AJ, Cassie and Camilla on the field for a brief moment of recognition for the achievement. Over 30,000 Rangers fans, on hand to share moment, cheered with anticipation for each of his at-bats and roared with excitement as hit No. 3,000 sailed down the left-field line.
“I think it’s one of those days that as a Ranger, you’ll forever remember that this is, on the calendar year, Ranger Day,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Yeah, it’s pretty special for a number of reasons.”
Beltre’s 3,000th hit came on the same afternoon as former Rangers’ catcher Pudge Rodriguez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Beltre is tied with Roberto Clemente for 30th all-time. He needs to 111 more hits to pass Dave Winfield into the top 20 all-time. The last player to reach the milestone was the Marlins Ichiro Suzuki, who did it last August. Beltre is the first player from the Dominican Republic to collect 3,000 hits.
Whether that happens or not, the 3,000-hit milestone almost guarantees Beltre’s election into the Baseball Hall of Fame five years after he retires.
The way he has played since returning from a series of calf strains during spring training, it appears the veteran third baseman could keep adding to his career totals for several more years.
“I don’t see any difference from last year or the year before,” Manager Jeff Banister said, before knocking on his wooden desk. “He seems, at times, ageless.”
He struck out swinging in his first at-bat Sunday and flew out to center in in the fifth.
“I think it’s one of those days that as a Ranger, you’ll forever remember that this is, on the calendar year, Ranger Day,” Banister said. “Yeah, it’s pretty special for a number of reasons.”
Beltre’s bona fides
Here’s where Beltre ranks all-time in many of the major offensive categories:
Roberto Clemente, 3,000
Paul Waner, 606
Miguel Cabrera, 458
Mel Ott, 5,041
Alex Rodriguez, 10,566
Eddie Murray, 1,099
Tony Perez, 2,777