Jackie Robinson’s #42. Nolan Ryan’s #34. Johnny Oates’ #26. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez’s #7. Now Adrian Beltre’s #29.
These numbers now all prominently sit on the facade of the second deck of the left field stands at Globe Life Park as the Rangers, past and present, honored the former third baseman’s eight elite seasons in a Texas uniform.
Signed as a free agent before the 2011 season to a six-year, $96 million contract, Beltre arrived in Texas as what might have been seen as the final piece to the Rangers championship puzzle as the team was coming off its first ever World Series appearance in 2010. He was never a disappointment as he would be an All-Star and be awarded a Gold Glove three times each throughout his tenure in Texas.
Adrian Beltre’s Ranger ranks
R: 10th (612)
H: 7th (1277)
2B: 9th (239)
HR: 5th (199)
RBI: 7th (699)
BA: 2nd (.304)
OBP: 6th (.357)
SLG: 4th (.509)
OPS: 5th (.865)
TB: 6th (2133)
XBH (6th (448)
— Jared Sandler (@JaredSandler) June 8, 2019
After announcing his retirement last November, Beltre is already receiving the honor of having his number retired by Texas just seven months later. A true sign of love. There was definitely no shortage of that between the Beltre, the Rangers organization and the fans on Saturday night as the future Hall-of Famer was honored with an hour-long pregame ceremony cementing his #29 as untouchable among present and future Rangers player.
With Mavericks and fellow DFW sports legend sitting on the front row behind the home on-deck circle, the notable on-field attendees were former Rangers Michael Young and David Murphy, former Mariners teammate Raul Ibanez, and Beltre’s first major league manager and baseball Hall-of-Famer: Tommy Lasorda.
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) June 9, 2019
The two points about Adrian that were emphasized the most by various speakers throughout the ceremony:
- He is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer.
- He loved playing the game just as much as anyone.
Beltre played with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox before coming to Texas, so many current and former players have a lot of great things to say about him.
— #Forever29 (@Rangers) June 9, 2019
This year’s Rangers, with most of them being former teammates of Beltre, lined the top step of their dugout for the duration of the ceremony. Only one player/coach every emerged to meet Beltre out on the field. That was Elvis Andrus and of course, he had to revive one of his favorite traditions.
— #Forever29 (@Rangers) June 9, 2019
Never change, Elvis and Adrian.
While his day-to-day presence is certainly missed from fans, players, coaches, broadcasters and stadium staffers alike, it was great to have a night to appreciate everything that Beltre has given to this franchise and community this decade. Countless memorable moments, smiles and memories just to name a few of those things. Now Beltre’s name and number will always be present in Globe Life Park and then Globe Life Field to remind present and future generations of Rangers fans of the greatness he displayed with the “T” on his cap for eight seasons.
Thank you, Adrian. See you in Cooperstown.
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