Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre announced his retirement 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,” said Beltre in a statement released by the team. “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 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.”
Beltre retires leading all third basemen in RBIs and he’s third all-time among players at the position with 477 career home runs and Wins Above Replacement. In the WAR metric, Beltre is 38th all-time.
Beltre spent 21 seasons in MLB and remained productive at the plate but was limited to 134 games at third base the past two seasons combined.
A four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner at the hot corner, Beltre had a .286 lifetime batting average and 3,166 hits.
He debuted at age 19 with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998 and spent seven seasons with the team before signing with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent entering the 2005 season. He was coming off of a career year with a .334 batting average, 48 home runs and 121 RBIs in 2004. Beltre finished second in National League MVP voting in 2004 behind Barry Bonds.
Beltre had 12 seasons with 20-plus home runs.
He signed with the Rangers in 2011 after one season with the Boston Red Sox, and played in the World Series. Texas lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals.