Beltré's Hall of Fame career saw iconic start with Dodgers

January 24th, 2024

LOS ANGELES -- There are a lot of members of Cooperstown who wore a Dodgers uniform at some point in their decorated careers. You can add another member to that list now.

, who started his career with the Dodgers, became a first-ballot Hall of Famer on Tuesday, the culmination to what was one of the best careers by a third baseman in Major League history. Rockies legend Todd Helton and Twins legend Joe Mauer were also elected into the Hall.

Beltré signed with the Dodgers as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1994. He made his Major League debut with Los Angeles four years later.

In seven seasons with Los Angeles, Beltré hit 147 of his 477 career homers, recorded 949 of his 3,166 hits, and became one of the best players in the league. His best season as a Dodger was his last, when he led the Majors with 48 homers, drove in 121 runs and posted a 1.021 OPS in 2004. He finished second in National League Most Valuable Player voting that season.

While Beltré hoped to stay with the Dodgers for the remainder of his career, he ultimately signed a lucrative five-year, $64 million deal with the Mariners. Beltré would go on to play 21 seasons in the Majors with the Dodgers, Rangers, Mariners and Red Sox.

There was never any doubt that one of the best third baseman in the history of baseball would get in on his first try. On Tuesday, Beltré led every player on the ballot with 366 votes (95 percent). He becomes the fifth player from the Dominican Republic to make the Hall of Fame, joining Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz and Vladimir Guerrero.

Some other notable names on the ballot included Gary Sheffield, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Adrián González, none of whom achieved the required 75 percent of voting for election.

Of that group, Sheffield came the closest, finishing with 63.9 percent of the votes -- 11 percent shy of a selection in his final year on the ballot. Sheffield had a short but very successful tenure with the Dodgers from 1999-01, making two All-Star teams and hitting a career high 43 homers in '00.

Jones also came within striking distance, receiving 237 votes (61.6 percent). The former outfielder had a forgettable time with the Dodgers, playing in just 75 games and hitting .158. Despite his nightmare season with L.A., Jones is often regarded as one of the best defensive center fielders in the history of the game.

Ramirez, who turned into must-watch television with the Dodgers, finished with 32.5 percent of the vote, followed by Utley (28.8), Rollins (14.8) and González (0.8).