ARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Beltre got his 3,000th career hit in a fitting way — a hard hit down the line past third base.
The 38-year-old Texas Rangers third baseman doubled Sunday to become the first player from the Dominican Republic, and 31st overall, to join the 3,000-hit club in the major leagues.
“I know this baseball game is not going to be forever, so I try to do the best I can to be productive every day,” Beltre told WFAA-TV.
He added, “I like challenges, I like competition. I always think it’s nothing I can’t do.”
A banner was unfurled high above straightaway center field congratulating Beltre after his hit in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles. His teammates, who had crowded on the rail of their first-base dugout to be as close as possible to the historic moment, flooded onto the field to celebrate with him.
Beltre’s two daughters and 10-year-old son Adrian Jr. left their front-row seats near the dugout they had shared with other family members and ran to right-center field. The kids helped unveil a logo commemorating the accomplishment on the wall in front of the Rangers bullpen, then went and hugged their father on the infield dirt.
Beltre grounded a 3-0 pitch hard down the line and the ball ricocheted off the side wall and into left field. The double came off lefty Wade Miley, who got Beltre out on a swinging strikeout in the second.
On an afternoon with temperatures in the 90s, the sun-soaked crowd stood in anticipation and started cheering when Beltre was introduced in his 2,771st career game. Now in his 20th big league season, he is only the third player who is primarily a third baseman in the 3,000-hit club, joining Hall of Famers George Brett and Wade Boggs.
Even Orioles players, including Miley, applauded the accomplishment.
The milestone came only minutes after former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez finished his induction speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Barring unusual circumstances, getting 3,000 hits has traditionally been a…