Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre joined one of baseball's most exclusive clubs Sunday, when he became the 31st member of the 3,000-hit club with an RBI double in the fourth inning against the Orioles at Globe Life Park. Beltre has maintained his status as one of baseball's best slugging third
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre joined one of baseball's most exclusive clubs Sunday, when he became the 31st member of the 3,000-hit club with an RBI double in the fourth inning against the Orioles at Globe Life Park. Beltre has maintained his status as one of baseball's best slugging third basemen through stops in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston and Arlington over the past 20 seasons, and he now joins 30 of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen.
In commemoration of Beltre's historic achievement, here are some things you should know about his journey to 3,000 hits:
:: Beltre joins 3,000-hit club ::
• There will almost certainly be celebrations taking place in Beltre's native city of Santo Domingo, as he is the first Dominican-born player to record at least 3,000 hits. Beltre is also just the fifth member of the 3,000-hit club to be born outside the United States, joining Roberto Clemente, Rod Carew, Rafael Palmeiro and Ichiro Suzuki.
• Beltre is the third player in history to reach 3,000 hits while playing more than half his games at third base, joining Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and George Brett. However, his 2,880 hits while playing third base are the most by any player since at least 1913, surpassing Brooks Robinson (2,838).
• Beltre is the only member of the 3,000-hit club to record at least 750 base knocks with at least three different ballclubs (Rangers, Dodgers and Mariners). In fact, the only players in the group to record even 500 hits with at least three different teams are Beltre, Paul Molitor (Brewers, Blue Jays and Twins) and Alex Rodriguez (Mariners, Rangers and Yankees).
• Beltre becomes just the ninth player to pair 3,000-plus hits with at least 450 home runs. With just 46 more round-trippers, he would join Hank Aaron, Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Palmeiro and Eddie Murray as the only men in the 3,000-hit/500-homer club.
Beltre would also join Aaron as the only players with at least 3,000 total hits, 600 doubles and 500 homers.
• Beltre's 258 hits against the Angels are his most against any opponent, and he's recorded at least 10 hits against each of the 30 current MLB clubs. He's tortured former Major Leaguer Dan Haren the most, collecting 24 hits off the right-hander while hitting .414 (24-for-58) against him.
• Beltre's highest hit total in a season was 200 in his final season with the Dodgers in 2004, when he finished second in the National League MVP vote. Beltre took the slow and steady approach to 3,000, but he is far from the only player to get there with so few 200-hit seasons. Six members (Cap Anson, Eddie Collins, Rickey Henderson, Murray, Dave Winfield and Carl Yastrzemski) never recorded 200 hits in a campaign, while five others (Craig Biggio, Al Kaline, Mays, Palmeiro and Robin Yount) recorded only one such season, just like Beltre to this point.
• An impressive 411 of Beltre's 3,000 hits have come on the first pitch of an at-bat, which is the most hits he's collected on any count in his career. In fact, he's done extremely well when swinging at the first offering, batting .338 and slugging .583 over the course of his career. Fellow 3,000-hit club member Derek Jeter has tallied the most first-pitch hits since 1913 with 650.
• Partly a product of the ever-changing landscape of his era, Beltre has recorded a hit in 44 different ballparks over his 20 years in the big leagues. He owns the fourth-most hits at Texas' Globe Life Park (659) and fifth-most hits at Seattle's Safeco Field (405).
• Beltre debuted on June 24, 1998, in a game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium. It was less than three months after his 19th birthday, and in his first plate appearance, he picked up hit No. 1 of his career -- a double off Chuck Finley. Beltre later added a single and went on to collect 42 hits as a teenager. Since then, only Manny Machado and Bryce Harper in 2012 have picked up more hits in their age-19 seasons or earlier.
• For the most part, Beltre has become more productive in his 30s, defying the conventional aging curve. While his single-season high is 200 hits as a 25-year-old in 2004, Beltre's five other seasons with at least 175 knocks each have come at age 31 or older.
• After some down years offensively in Seattle, Beltre's bat perked back up when he moved on to Boston at age 31 in 2010, and then Texas the next year. Beltre has collected 1,300 hits since then, the second most by a primary third baseman between ages 31-38, trailing only Boggs' 1,305.
• Beltre has 16 walk-off hits in his career, most recently a two-run homer off Oakland's Ryan Madson on July 25, 2016. It was the ninth walk-off homer for Beltre.
• While Beltre is the 31st player to reach 3,000 hits, less than half of the other 30 have reached the milestone while also compiling more than 1,000 extra-base hits, as Beltre has done. That list includes (in order of extra-base hits): Aaron, Stan Musial, Mays, Rodriguez, Palmeiro, Yastrzemski, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Brett, Eddie Murray, Winfield, Cal Ripken, Pete Rose and Biggio.
• The official stats do not count playoff games, but Beltre has 29 more hits in the postseason, including nine in the 2011 World Series for the Rangers, when he batted .300.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.