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Beltran is first switch-hitter with 300 HRs, SBs

Outfielder steals second base in second inning on Friday

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran became the first switch-hitter in Major League history to reach 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases with his stolen base in the second inning of a 3-2 loss to the Royals on Friday night.

He is the eighth player to reach the 300/300 milestone, joining Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Bobby Bonds, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley.

"I just have to thank God for the opportunity of being able to play this game for a long time," Beltran said after going 2-for-4 in the loss. "All the glory is for him. I've been fortunate to be able to play this game for long, and today, it's great. It would have been great if we would have won."

Second base was pulled off the Busch Stadium field after the game and handed to Beltran at his locker in the Cardinals' clubhouse. Team sources said Beltran is considering sending his used spikes from the game to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Beltran, who spent parts of seven seasons with the Royals to open his career, played against Kansas City for the first time on Friday. He was named the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year as a 22-year-old, batting .293 with 22 homers, 108 RBIs and 27 steals.

It was a special moment for Beltran to achieve such a milestone against the team he began his career with.

"It is crazy, but at the same time, things happen for a reason," Beltran said. "So I can say it was good to play them today, even though we lost. For me, personally, I started my career as a Royal, I spent 6 1/2 years there, so I have good memories there in Kansas City."

The 35-year-old has seven stolen bases this season. He swiped a career-high 42 bags in 2004 while splitting time between Kansas City and Houston. He also leads the National League with 19 homers this year. He hit a career-high 41 home runs with the Mets in '06.

Mike Still is an associate reporter for
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