One of the best third basemen in Major League history, Adrian Beltre, announced his retirement from baseball at the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Beltre played 21 seasons, beginning his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was with the organization for seven seasons before playing with the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers.
The Dominican Republic native was named an All-Star four times in his career while winning five Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger Awards. More than his play on the field though, Beltre was known to be one of the better and funnier guys off of it.
Because of that, it came as no surprise that he played one last joke on Rangers general manager Jon Daniels before announcing his retirement. Daniels revealed that Beltre jokingly told him he planned to play one final season with the Dodgers, via MLB:
“He texted me, I don’t know if it was a week or two ago, and said he was ready to talk. And so I got the sense that it was decision time. We spoke a little bit later that evening. Adrian is pretty direct. Doesn’t mince words. I get the sense from this phone call it was a little more solemn tone to start. He kind of started, ‘Hey, tough decision. This is a tough one for me. I’ve decided to play next year.’ He said, ‘I got an offer from the Dodgers and I am going to play for the Dodgers next year.’ I don’t really know what I responded. Kind of like stumbled over my words or awkward silence or whatever the case was. And he started laugh and said, ‘I’m just kidding, man. I’m going to retire.’”
Beltre actually had an opportunity to close out his career with the Dodgers if he wanted to as they reportedly inquired on him before the waiver deadline this past season.
He held a full no-trade clause though and decided to just close out his career with the Rangers instead of making one last World Series run with the team that originally signed him.
Beltre’s kind heart is what he will be remembered for most, and even though he won’t be returning to the Dodgers, it was great to see him make one last joke on his way out the door of a Hall of Fame Major League career.