Reminder: Enjoy the incomparable Adrian Beltre while you still can
The future Hall of Famer and legendarily fun player is 39 and hits free agency after this season
Regular readers here at CBS Sports know that Adrian Beltre is a staff favorite, particularly of this scribe (he's my third baseman on the All-Fun team). He's the total package from a baseball spectator standpoint, in that he's a great and exciting player who brings personality to baseball.
Beltre's also heading into his age-39 season and is only signed through 2018. He's still playing at a high level, but Father Time is undefeated and Beltre's retirement is nigh.
As such, one thing we need to remember heading into this season is to enjoy the time we have left watching Beltre.
This might seem random. I guess it sort of is, but it came to mind in watching this clip from MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days:"
Digging in on the head-touching phobia of Beltre's takes me back to this video, and God bless whoever put this together:
Thanks to the coverage over the years, most die-hard fans know now about Beltre's head-touching thing and how much his best friend Elvis Andrus pushes the limits there. The story even spawned this duck-duck-goose commercial with Beltre:
He also has a penchant for going down to one knee on swings, sometimes homering from one knee. We've seen him play while hobbling down the line thanks to bad wheels (hamstrings, mostly), even in the playoffs. He once, too.
There's simply nothing to dislike here and everything to love.
The last few years of Beltre's career bring with them intrigue when it comes to his final stat totals. Heading into 2018, he's already surpassed 3,000 hits (3,048 right now), 1,600 RBI (1,642) and 600 doubles (613). He'll soon topple 1,500 runs (he has 1,475) and there's a chance at 500 home runs (he has 462).
The only player in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits, 1,500 RBI, 1,500 runs, 600 doubles and 500 home runs is Hank Aaron. Albert Pujols will get there with 32 more hits. Beltre needs 38 home runs. It would be quite the feat.
A great defender at third base, Beltre's actually 13th in career defensive WAR, trailing only Brooks Robinson among third basemen.
Also, Beltre has been to the postseason five different times and once made the World Series, where he hit .300/.323/.567 with two doubles and two homers. Alas, he doesn't have a ring. Can he win one here in the next few years? It's another thing to watch.
Mostly, though, let's just make a pact to enjoy Beltre while we can. He'll be making a speech in Cooperstown in no time.
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