Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is the only third baseman in MLB history to play more games at third base than Adrian Beltre, and the Baltimore Orioles’ legend is a member of the Beltre fan club.
Robinson, who won 16 Gold Gloves in his career, said that he has watched Beltre throughout the years and considers the Texas Rangers’ star to be in a small group at the hot corner who rate as the best.
Robinson included Beltre in a group that includes Orioles star Manny Machado, who now plays shortstop, and Colorado Rockies All-Star Nolan Arenado.
He also knows the one thing Beltre hates more than anything.
“He just makes the plays at third base. He’s tough,” Robinson said. “I’ve seen him hit, too. I don’t think I’m going to rub his head, though, when he hits a home run. Anyway, I appreciate him. You see guys like Machado play third and Arenado, take your pick. They’re the best. You can’t get any better.”
Beltre said that he has met Robinson on a few occasions, and Robinson has always been very kind. In true Beltre fashion, he downplayed any comparisons between himself and Robinson, and gave him carte blanche with the head rubbing.
“He can do whatever he wants,” Beltre said, “because he’s Brooks Robinson.”
Beltre is a five-time Gold Glove winner who, among other things, is known for his strong arm and terrific hands. The 21-year veteran has played 2,733 games at third base, according to baseball-reference.com, 147 behind Robinson. Beltre trails Robinson by 107 starts.
Beltre, who is 20th all time in career hits, will be joining Robinson, 81, in the Hall of Fame some day.
“He’s been amazing to do the things he’s been doing for this long,” Robinson said. “I’m happy for him. He’s a terrific fielder.”