ARLINGTON -- The baseball world saw on July 30 why Adrian Beltre has been selected as the Personality of the Year in the Esurance MLB Awards.That was the day Beltre lined a double to left field off Orioles pitcher Wade Miley for the 3,000th hit of his career. When it
ARLINGTON -- The baseball world saw on July 30 why Adrian Beltre has been selected as the Personality of the Year in the Esurance MLB Awards.
That was the day Beltre lined a double to left field off Orioles pitcher Wade Miley for the 3,000th hit of his career. When it was over, his family spilled onto the field to congratulate Beltre and his emotions immediately spilled over amid the hugs and kisses.
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"What happened today after the hit has been the best moment in my life. I didn't know how to feel, because I had no idea what was going on," Beltre said. "I feel proud of them. I saw the joy in their faces, and a lot of things you do in your career, you do for your kids and your family. My kids and my wife have been so supportive over the years, that this moment was for them. When I saw that, I felt like I was on a cloud, because I really saw the joy in their faces. It was a nice moment to enjoy with them -- my family, my wife."
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The veteran third baseman won the award over the Indians' Francisco Lindor and the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig. While Beltre isn't on social media, he was nominated for Social Media Personality of the Year in 2016. That award became Personality of the Year in 2017.
Beltre's personality is unique in baseball. No other player seems to be able to combine a deadly serious approach to winning with an unquenchable zest to have fun at the same time. In one moment, Beltre can hit a home run on one knee, and the next moment he'll be fighting with his teammates in the dugout as they playfully try to rub his hair-challenged head.
He can make a sensational diving play at third base and then jostle with shortstop Elvis Andrus -- his chief tormentor -- on a routine pop fly. He is a smart baserunner, despite a lack of speed, but has also been known to end a rundown by bolting into the outfield to elude the final tag.
With an interchangeable scowl and smile, he is respected and admired across the Majors for his approach to the game. Beltre clearly has one of the most unique personalities in baseball.
"The way he goes about the game, you can admire that," Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said. "I wish I could play like that, having fun and all that. I just take it too serious. I just can't. Maybe one day I can turn into a guy like him."
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: Media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members.
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Voting led off with seven categories (Personality of the Year; Best Defensive Player; Best Play, Offense; Best Play, Defense; Best Performance; Best Fan Catch; Best Player-Fan Interaction) on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled the Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment categories following the Fall Classic's final out.
The ninth inning of voting began around BBWAA Awards week, giving fans the opportunity to help determine the Best Major Leaguer, Pitcher, Rookie, Manager and Executive. Winners were announced on MLB Network and MLB.com on Friday night at 8 ET.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.