Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers acknowledges the fans after hitting a double for his 3,000th career hit on July 30, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. Beltre, who spent six years with the Seattle Mariners (2005-09), has decided to retire after 21 big-league seasons. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers acknowledges the fans after hitting a double for his 3,000th career hit on July 30, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. Beltre, who spent six years with the Seattle Mariners (2005-09), has decided to retire after 21 big-league seasons. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Former Mariner Adrian Beltre announces his retirement

The five-time Gold Glove winner spent 21 seasons in the major leagues

Associated Press

Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers retired Tuesday after 21 major-league seasons, during which he hit 477 home runs and became the first player from the Dominican Republic to collect 3,000 hits.

The 39-year-old third baseman announced his decision in a statement released by the Rangers, saying it is time for the “next chapter of my life.”

“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,” Beltre said. “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.”

Beltre was a .286 hitter with 1,707 RBI in 2,933 career games. His 3,166 hits rank 16th on baseball’s career list, with his homers total 30th and RBI total 24th. He played 2,759 games at third base — only Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson played more at the position.

The four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner made his big-league debut at 19 with the Dodgers in 1998.

In his statement, Beltre thanked former Dodgers manager 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 majors.

Beltre played with Los Angeles until 2004, then was with the Seattle Mariners from 2005-09 and the Boston Red Sox in 2010. He joined the Rangers as a free agent in 2011 and appeared in his only World Series in his first season with Texas.

“We have been honored to have Adrian Beltre as a Texas Ranger for the last eight years,” team co-chairman and managing partner Ray Davis said. “Adrian has represented this organization in an exemplary fashion on and off the field, and it has been a privilege for all of us to be associated with him. He is one of the greatest third basemen to ever play this game. But his greatest legacy will be as a teammate, a mentor, a husband, and a father.”

Beltre hit .273 with 15 homers and 65 RBI in 119 games this past season. He went on the disabled list twice because of an ailing left hamstring issue that also bothered him at the end of the 2017 season.

He got his 3,000th career hit on July 30, 2017, the 31st major-leaguer to reach that milestone.

“To all my fans in the Dominican Republic, the United States and Latin America, my sincerest THANK YOU for your continuous support throughout my career,” Beltre wrote. “While I will forever cherish the memories from my time playing the greatest game on earth, I am excited to become a fulltime husband and father, and I am ready to take on the next chapter of my life.”

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