Most fans knew this news would be coming, and on Monday it became official: After 20 years in the big leagues, outfielder and designated hitter Carlos Beltran is hanging it up and retiring from the game. He announced his decision on The Players’ Tribune, in a beautiful piece that recalls his long career and the meaningful moments that stood out to him.
The 40 year old former Met is a native of Puerto Rico and broke through to the majors with the Kansas City Royals in 1998, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1999. He played for seven different teams throughout his career, but had never won a World Series — until he did this year with the Houston Astros. He did have a few close calls, though. He got close in 2013 with the St. Louis Cardinals, and with the New York Mets in 2006.
To win your first World Series in a long career and then retire, it’s a storybook ending to a Hall of Fame career. And it’s one that Beltran was ready for. When Beltran spoke to Yahoo Sports after Game 7 of the World Series, he didn’t explicitly say that he was going to retire, but he admitted that as a 40-year-old designated hitter, his options were limited. As far as making the choice to lay down his glove and bat, he said, “I don’t think it’s gonna be a hard one after winning a World Series.”
But Beltran isn’t ready to leave baseball. He may be done as a player, but he’s got more to give to the game. He’s open to coming back as a coach, and even wants to manage a team someday. In fact, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has said that having Beltran around this season was like having a player-coach on staff.
Beltran retires with a lifetime .279/.350/.486 triple slash, which includes 2,725 hits, 565 doubles and 435 home runs. He played 2,586 regular season games in the majors, and until he won that World Series, he was one of just three players with more than 2,500 games and no ring.
Enjoy retirement, Carlos. We can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.