Potential Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran finally has a World Series ring after 20 years
The onetime Astros postseason hero returned to Houston and now has a title to show for it
LOS ANGELES -- The Astros just won the 2017 World Series in a series for the ages, even if Game 7 wasn't high on the drama factor in the late innings. Myriad stories emerged from the series itself, the individual games and the Astros winning their first-ever World Series for the city of Houston that had endured such hardship during the regular season.
One of many stories is seeing Carlos Beltran finally win a World Series ring. No, he wasn't a major contributor during this series, but you better believe he earned this ring.
Beltran, 40, has appeared in over 2,500 games in his 20-year career. He's played in 15 different postseason series in seven different postseasons. He's been a dominant force in the postseason, too, hitting .307/.412/.609 with 66 hits, 15 doubles, a triple, 16 homers, 42 RBI, 45 runs, 11 stolen bases and 37 walks against 33 strikeouts. A bunch of people mistakenly think he is a postseason failure because of one damn at-bat over a decade ago (he was amazing that series, too, by the way).
An exemplary character guy off the field as well, Beltran has won the Roberto Clemente Award and did great work after hurricanes ravaged his native Puerto Rico this season, raising over $1 million.
Beltran will ultimately be judged in terms of the Hall of Fame mostly on his regular-season career.
The nine-time All-Star was one of baseball's marquee players for a decent stretch, a true heavy-hitting name in baseball circles. He was a five-tool star before his knees forced him to the corner outfield spots and later mostly to DH duty. In his younger days, he was incredible in center, and he did win three Gold Gloves.
With his legs, Beltran has stolen 312 bases, topping thirty in a season four times and thirty twice. With the bat, Beltran has slashed .279/.350/.486 (119 OPS+) with 2,725 hits, 565 doubles, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBI and 1,582 runs.
Beltran won Rookie of the Year, but finished in the top five of MVP voting just once. He's in the top 50 all time in total bases (33rd), doubles (27th), home runs (46th), RBI (41st) and extra-base hits (24th).
For those interested, Beltran ranks eighth all-time among center fielders in the JAWS system, sitting in front of Hall of Famers like Andre Dawson and Kirby Puckett. The only players ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame: Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Mickey Mantle, Tris Speaker, Ken Griffey Jr, Joe DiMaggio and Duke Snider.
I think the resume says Beltran is an obvious Hall-of-Famer, but there are some Small Hall types who would adamantly argue that notion.
Regardless, after all these years and seeing his team fall short so many times, Beltran now has a World Series ring. Good for him.
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