MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has announced he's retiring from Major League Baseball after parts of 21 seasons. Beltre, 39, issued a statement through the team on Tuesday: 

After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, I have made the decision to retire from what I've been doing my whole life, which is playing baseball, the game I love.

I have thought about it a lot and although I appreciate all the opportunities and everything that baseball has given me, it's time to call it a career. I have enjoyed the privilege of playing professional baseball since I was 15 years old. I have been blessed to have played 21 seasons at the highest level in Major League Baseball.

I want to thank God, my amazing wife Sandra for your unwavering and unconditional love, support and understanding throughout my entire baseball career, my three awesome children, Cassie, A.J and Camila for being the best baseball kids, my parents, and my entire family for all your love and support.

I also want to thank my agents, Scott Boras, Mike Fiore and the entire Boras Corp. for always believing in my talent. A huge THANK YOU goes to the numerous teammates, managers, coaches, and staff members from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and especially the Texas Rangers. These past eight seasons playing in a Rangers' uniform have been the best of my career and were made possible thanks to Rangers' owners Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, and Neil Leibman, General Manager Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan, and the late Don Welke.

I also owe a huge part of my success in Texas to the amazing Rangers' fans. You guys are the best!

I also have to acknowledge and thank Tommy Lasorda for believing in this young kid from the Dominican Republic when others thought I was too young to be called up to the Big Leagues.

To all my fans in the Dominican Republic, the United States and Latin America, my sincerest THANK YOU for your continuous support throughout my career. While I will forever cherish the memories from my time playing the greatest game on earth, I am excited to become a fulltime husband and father, and I am ready to take on the next chapter of my life.

It's been one hell of a ride!

Muchas gracias,

Adrian Beltre

Also on Tuesday, Rangers GM Jon Daniels released this statement through the team: 

"Adrian is one of the best people I've had the opportunity to work with. He stands out as much off the field as he does on it. He is a Hall of Fame level teammate, husband and father. He helped raise the Rangers' franchise to a new level.

"Among the many, many examples of selflessness over the years, his performance in the second half of 2015 stands out. Against the advice of doctors, he played through a badly injured thumb that required surgery when the season ended. He played at a top level, and set the tone for the rest of the club. It is symbolic for how he carried himself and led the organization every day. I want to thank him and Sandra for all they've done for the Rangers and our community. They're forever a part of us. We wish them and their family the best in retirement."

Beltre debuted with the Dodgers at the age of 19 years, 78 days and went on to play for the Mariners, Red Sox and of course Rangers. Over those two decades plus, he'd rack up 3,166 hits; 477 home runs; 636 doubles; 1,524 runs scored; 1,707 RBI; and 5,309 total bases. Along the way, he batted .286/.339/.480 (116 OPS+). Of course, Beltre's bestowals at the plate are merely part of his story. He's in the discussion for greatest defensive third baseman of all-time. He won five Gold Gloves in his career, but that really understates his impact with the glove. 

This past season, Beltre's production at the plate slipped to an OPS+ of 98, his lowest mark since 2009. While he remained a plus in the field, that was enough for Beltre to decide to step away. He'll be remembered not only as one of the best all-around players of his generation, but also as one of the most enjoyable players to watch, thanks in large measure to his penchant for the highlight play and serialized antics with longtime teammate Elvis Andrus

Speaking of Andrus, he'll be on hand when Beltre holds his retirement press conference next week in Arlington.