Former Royal Carlos Beltran retiring after 20 seasons in MLB

In this Sept. 17, 2017, file photo, Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander, right, and Carlos Beltran celebrate the team’s win over the Seattle Mariners to clinch the AL West crown in a baseball game in Houston. Beltran is retiring after winning his first World Series title in his 20th major league season. The 40-year-old made the announcement Monday, 12 days after the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)

Carlos Beltran, a former Royals outfielder, is retiring from Major League Baseball, capping his 20-year playing career with a World Series title.

 

The 40-year-old, who played his final season with the Houston Astros, announced his decision on The Players’ Tribune website Monday morning.

“I am blessed to have played this game for 20 years. I am blessed to have played for so many great organizations,” Beltran wrote. “I am blessed to have shared all of my experiences with my wife and my three kids, my family and friends. To have so many loving fans. To have been able to build a school in Puerto Rico and change the lives of so many kids. To have won the Roberto Clemente Award, which is the greatest honor I could have ever received as a ballplayer.

“And I am blessed to be a champion. But now, my time as a player has come to an end.”

The nine-time All-Star — who finishes with a .279 batting average, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBI and 312 stolen bases — was the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year, winning three Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards.

Beltran began his career with the Royals, spending over six seasons in Kansas City before being traded to Houston in 2004. But in addition to also playing for the Giants, Cardinals and Rangers, he spent plenty of time in New York: over six seasons with the Mets (2005-11) and over two seasons with the Yankees (2014-16).

As the Yankees search for their next manager, Beltran would not rule out potentially going for the job.

“I don’t know what they’re looking for. Experience as a manager, I don’t have that. But I have the passion for the game, I have the knowledge of being able to play the game for a long time,” Beltran told MLB.com. “I get along well with the players, with my teammates; I’ve always taken that to heart, trying to impact my teammates in a positive way.

“I would not discount anything; you’re talking about the New York Yankees. You’re not just talking about any team in baseball. Not taking anything away from any other organization, but the Yankees are a team that anyone would love to put on that uniform and manage that ballclub.”

In his piece for The Players’ Tribune, Beltran wrote that the greatest advice he received was from golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez: “To be successful in life, Carlos, you have to surround yourself with successful people. You can’t be afraid to ask questions to those people that you look up to.”

Beltran made it a point to engage with other ballplayers, even those who — from the outside — appeared untouchable, like Barry Bonds.

“Throughout my career I tried to get as much knowledge out of every opportunity as I could,” Beltran explained. “I would look around the league at the players who I had the ultimate respect and admiration for — guys like Bernie Williams, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Carlos Delgado, Ivan Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, among others — and I would follow Chi Chi’s advice. I would ask these players, ‘Hey, what have you got for me? What can I do to be a better ballplayer?’ ”

Although he always dreamed of winning a World Series, Beltran said he never felt like he “needed to” to complete his career. It just happened to work out when he re-joined the Astros before last season.

“I realized early on that my purpose in this game was to share knowledge with younger players and to give back to the game of baseball. I always wanted to do that — that, and be the best teammate I could possibly be,” Beltran wrote. “Over 20 years, I feel like I accomplished that. So whether we won or lost Game 7 (against the Dodgers), I would have still been happy with my career.

“But it still feels nice to have a ring….”

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