SPOKANE, WA - It's the end of an era for one of the greatest Spokane Indians players of all time. Carlos Beltran, who played 59 games with Spokane in 1996, announced his retirement from baseball today on The Players' Tribune.
Originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the MLB Draft, Beltran would go on to play for the Astros, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees and Rangers over a 20-year career that spanned three decades. He won the Rookie of the Year Award with the Royals in 1999 and later added three Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, and nine All-Star appearances to his ever-expanding trophy case.
Beltran's retirement comes less than two weeks after he captured the only thing missing from that otherwise flawless resume - a World Series title. Although no longer the threat he once was at the plate or one the basepaths, Beltran played an integral role as the veteran mentor for a young Astros team that had to rally back from series deficits in the ALCS and World Series.
"And as I got older, and I became the player that the younger guys came to for advice, I started to understand something … that my purpose in this game is not only to hit home runs or to win championships," Beltran penned in his retirement letter. "It is to share what I know with the younger players, like so many other players have done for me. It is to give back to the game of baseball."
Beltran finished his career a .279 average, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBI and 312 stolen bases. His 86 percent success rate on stolen bases is second in MLB history (min. 100 attempts) while he is the only switch-hitter to ever compile 300 HR/300 SB. Beltran was even better on the biggest stage, posting a .307 average over 65 playoff games and tying Barry Bonds for the most home runs in a single postseason (8).
"I am blessed to have shared all of my experiences with my wife and my three kids, my family and friends," added Beltran. "To have so many loving fans. To have been able to build a school in Puerto Rico and change the lives of so many kids. To have won the Roberto Clemente Award, which is the greatest honor I could have ever received as a ballplayer."
About the Indians
The Indians are the Short Season Class "A" affiliate for the Texas Rangers. Reserve your seats for the 2018 season today online at TicketsWest.com and spokaneindians.com, or by calling the Avista Stadium Ticket Office at (509) 343-6886 (OTTO).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.