At 40 years old, Carlos Beltran is still playing the game of baseball and is just two wins away from the World Series with the Houston Astros.
When he eventually retires, the 20-year MLB veteran is destined for Cooperstown, New York. There was recently a question posed on Twitter by Tyler Kepner of the New York Times: “If Carlos Beltran makes the Hall of Fame, which team’s hat should he wear on his plaque?”
Beltran should go in donning a NY Mets hat, shouldn't even be a debate. Most 2B, HR, RBI and highest OPS (.869) and WAR (31.3) by a mile.
— Metsmerized Online (@MetsMerized) October 15, 2017
In his career, Beltran has played for seven teams, but none as long as the Kansas City Royals and the Mets, spending six-and-a-half years with each.
Back in 2013, the nine-time all-star appeared in the Summer Classic at Citi Field as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and said he could see himself going into the Hall of Fame as a Met.
“These are teams that I spent the most time with,” Beltran said in regard to the Royals and Mets. “I guess in Kansas City I spent like the same time, six-and-a-half years. Here six-and-a-half. But I think if you look at my numbers, I had better numbers with the Mets than the Royals.”
Beltran went on to say that going in as a Met is a possibility.
“It could be, I don’t know how that works,” he concluded. “I don’t know how you choose that. But yeah, it could happen.”
In his time with New York, he appeared in 839 games, hit 208 doubles, 17 triples, launched 149 homers, drove in 559 runs and swiped 100 bags, only being caught 16 times. He also hit to a .280/.369/.500 clip while winning three consecutive Gold Glove awards (2006-08).
While Beltran is perhaps infamously remembered for staring at the third strike to end the 2006 National League Championship Series, his career as a Met should not be defined by one pitch.
That season, Beltran’s 41 home runs tied a club single-season record, as well as his 127 runs and 12.4 AB/HR which set new team records. He is also sixth in franchise history with a 31 WAR.
He missed the all-star game as a member of the Mets just twice in his six-and-a-half years with the team and won back-to-back Silver Slugger awards in 2006 and 2007.
For the future Hall of Famer, it will likely come down to two hats for his plaque, the aforementioned Royals or the Mets. Considering what he accomplished in his time in blue and orange, it may very well be the latter.