Well, he's done it. Rangers third baseman/team hero Adrian Beltre has collected his 3,000th base hit with a fourth-inning double off Wade Miley in Sunday's Orioles-Rangers game. It was a great scene in Arlington:
The 20-year veteran has had quite a career since emerging with the Dodgers back in 1998, picking up four All-Star selections and five Gold Glove Awards along the way.
But even beyond what he's actually done in the stat sheets, Beltre's had a knack for entertaining at nearly every turn. With the glove, with the bat, from the on-deck circle ... the man's done it all and brought smiles everywhere he goes.
So now, let us look back on some of Beltre's finest moments in the batter's box in celebration of his latest milestone.
1. June 24, 1998: First career hit and RBI
We have to start here, right? Facing Chuck Finley and the Angels in an Interleague showdown at Dodger Stadium that was also his Major League debut, a fresh-faced Beltre slapped an RBI double down the left-field line -- as called by Vin Scully. Not a bad first day at the office.
2. June 30, 1998: First homer
Less than a week after his first hit, Beltre crushed his first dinger -- in Arlington, no less, against the Rangers. A sign of things to come ...
3. His dramatic walk-offs
He's no stranger to getting the big hits, as he's proved time and time again. Like this time in 2016, turning a 6-5 deficit to the A's into a thrilling 7-6 win:
Or this one from 2015 -- on the always fun walk-off walk:
4. Crushing 400-ft home runs from his knees
One of the facets of his game that you can consider classically Beltre is his penchant for hitting majestic homers that literally bring him down to his knees. Like this 429-foot shot hit against Oakland in 2016:
5. Swinging at pitches he has no chance of hitting
Beltre exudes confidence on all sides of the game, so why not swing at this helmet-high pitch from Alfredo Simon?
6. Steadfastly refusing to allow others to touch his head, even after homers
Remember, don't touch his head. Just don't. But if you do anyway -- even after he hits big homers -- be prepared for this:
7. Hitting clutch World Series home runs
The Rangers lost an unbelievably dramatic 2011 World Series to the Cardinals, but they nearly won thanks to some home run heroics from Beltre. The first came in Game 5 and tied the game against Chris Carpenter. Oh, and it featured an October edition of his patented take-a-knee move:
In Game 6, Beltre stepped up in the seventh and put Texas on top with a blast to right-center. It wouldn't prove to be the game-winner, but he did his best.
8. Shuffling around on inside pitches
He does this maneuver, all the time.
9. He'll return baseballs after pitches in the dirt
Beltre's keen eye for the strike zone means he'll often work the count deep. And if a pitcher tries an offspeed pitch that bounces in the dirt, well, he'll extend a helping hand if the moment calls for it:
10. He's hit for the cycle ... three times
No, seriously. He's collected a single, double, triple and home run in the same game three times, with the most recent coming in 2015. That's quite a feat, considering only three other players in MLB history (Bob Meusel, Babe Herman and John Reilly) can say the same.
These are but a few fun moments along the definition of consistency that has been Beltre's career up to this point, of course. Here's hoping there are many more left in the tank, too.
Congrats on 3,000!