Texas Rangers slugger Adrian Beltre, a .286 lifetime hitter, became the 31st member of the 3,000 hit club on Sunday when he doubled off Wade Miley of the Baltimore Orioles.
In doing so, the Rangers third baseman also became the first Dominican-born player to achieve the feat.
It was Beltre’s 605th career double, matching Paul Molitor for 14th all-time. That also matched Mel Ott for 20th with 5,041 total bases; and Beltre’s 454 homers are 38th on that list.
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“What happened today after the hit, it was the best moment in my life,” Beltre said. “When I saw that, I felt like I was in the cloud, because I really saw the joy in their faces. It was a nice moment to enjoy with them, my family, my wife.”
Beltre, a four-time All-Star, has been swinging a hot bat lately for a team desperately trying to get back into playoff contention. He is 11-for-23 during the Rangers’ homestand and 13-for-28 in his past six games. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting a team-high .355.
“Like we told him earlier, he means so much to this organization, to this team, a mentor to every single player and coach,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We thanked him for allowing us to tag along this journey with him, and be part of it.”
Beltre, in his 20th major league season, is in his seventh season with the Rangers after previously playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox.
The only other active player in the 3,000-hit club is Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who was 23rd on the all-time list with 3,060 hits going into Saturday night.
Beltre is now tied for 30th place on the hits list with Roberto Clemente. Al Kaline (3,007) and Wade Boggs (3,010) are next up on the list.
“Never in my life did I think about collecting 3,000 hits, playing 20 years, hitting 400-plus homers. I never expected that, I never saw myself doing that,” Beltre said. “When you play every day … and do the best you can to help your ball club, sometimes you accumulate numbers.”
Gallery: Recent members of the 3,000 hit club