On April 6, 2004, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre became the 36th player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs before the age of 25. He joined Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig to have exactly 100 homers on their 25th birthday, which came the following day.
The Dodgers hosted the San Diego Padres on April 6 in what was their second game of the 2004 season. They fell into a hole, trailing 4-0 after three innings, but worked their way back to earn a 5-4 victory to earn their first win of the year.
Beltre’s home run was a two-run shot in the seventh inning, his first of many on the season. It also came on a night that saw Beltre batting seventh in the lineup, which he was angered by due to not receiving prior notice from manager Jim Tracy.
Beltre finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, but it was Robin Ventura that stole the show with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the victory.
That was the start of a brilliant season for Beltre though as he played in 156 games, hitting .334/.388/.629 with a National League-leading 48 home runs and 121 RBI. He finished second in the NL MVP voting that year to San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, who had one of the most impressive seasons ever, hitting .362/.609/.812 with 45 home runs and 101 RBI.
The 2004 season, unfortunately, was Beltre’s last in a Dodger uniform as he went on to sign a five-year, $64 million contract with the Seattle Mariners the following offseason.
He ended up playing five seasons with the Mariners, one with the Boston Red Sox and eight with the Texas Rangers before retiring at the end of the 2018 season.
He finished his career as a four-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger award winner and five-time Gold Glove award winner while hitting 477 home runs in 21 seasons. It’s only a matter of time before he winds up in Cooperstown to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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