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Next stop, Hall of Fame — Carlos Beltran

Next stop, Hall of Fame — Carlos Beltran

The exception to this rule regarding center fielders is Kirby Puckett, elected on his first ballot in 2001 following a 12 season career that was cut short after he was diagnosed with glaucoma.

On Monday, less than two weeks after the Astros' World Series victory over the Dodgers, Carlos Beltran retired after he claimed the first championship of his career. And would Beltran want to jump into a job that big without a break from the game? I am blessed to have played for so many great organizations. "I appreciated the way I was treated; my family, the relationship with Brian", Beltran said, referring to GM Brian Cashman.

"But it still feels nice to have a ring".

To win your first World Series in a long career and then retire, it's a storybook ending to a Hall of Fame career. He also won the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award. And I am blessed to be a champion.

For his career, Beltran was a.279/.350/.486 hitter, good for an OPS+ of 119, but his bat wasn't all he brought to the table. Today, I am officially announcing my retirement. Beltran has earned his spot in Cooperstown.

Beltran's career began with the Kansas City Royals in 1998, where he played for six years before heading to Houston for a season in 2004.

Beltran had speed. He was an excellent outfielder. Adding to the stolen base number, he was only caught 49 times, leading to an 86.4% success rate that is the best in baseball history over at least 200 attempts.

Beltran's career saw him win the American League's Rookie of the Year award in 1999 as well as three Gold Glove and two Silver Slugger Awards. That's impressive considering he played on a team that just barely avoided being the worst in baseball that year.

During the 1999 season, Beltran hit for a.293 batting average, 22 home runs and 108 RBIs. He did have a few close calls, though.

Beltran finishes his career after winning his first World Series title.

Another six-year stint followed at the New York Mets between 2005-2011 before a lone stint at the San Francisco Giants.

Now the questions: Would Cashman think that far out of the box? I said, 'Hopefully we can get to the World Series and win the World Series, so I can go home on a happy note'.

Carlos Beltran played for 20 years and put up impressive numbers in spite of the injury bug showing up at inopportune times. Seeing the things that I have accomplished in the game, not a lot of guys have accomplished that.

And even though he slowed down as he got older, Beltran never stopped playing at a high level.