If there was every any doubt, there shouldn’t have been.
Adrian Beltre belonged in the Hall of Fame. Period. Yet, 4.9 percent of Hall of Fame voters didn’t vote for him. Those writers are known by their more familiar name: Idiots. Eleven voters didn’t cast ballots for Babe Ruth back in 1936.
Beltre is the third Ranger to be enshrined, after Nolan Ryan and Pudge Rodriguez.
Third base is the most under-represented position in Cooperstown. Until yesterday, only fifteen third basemen were in the Hall.
Even more rare is a Hall of Fame third baseman born in the last sixty years. Only Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen. And now, of course, Adrian Beltre.
No third baseman has had more hits than Beltre’s 3,166. No third baseman in the Hall of Fame had more RBIs.
But beyond the numbers, which are staggering, is something nobody could measure. Beltre’s love for the game. Fellow Dominican star Felipe Alou summed it up pretty well. “Adrian was a complete ballplayer and he did it without bragging or making anyone feel bad.”
Rangers fans were blessed to witness Adrian Beltre for eight seasons and 1,098 games. They witnessed six seasons where he was a top-15 MVP vote getter, five in the top-10.
We witnessed joy and excellence and humility. We witnessed greatness.
And now Adrian Beltre is where he deserves to be. In baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Was there any doubt?