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Carlos Beltran retires, has strong case for Baseball Hall of Fame

Beltran’s best seasons came with the Mets, whose cap might appear on his plaque in Cooperstown someday.

Carlos Beltran helped the Mets, for whom

Carlos Beltran helped the Mets, for whom he played for six-plus seasons, reach Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

Carlos Beltran has hung up his spikes.

The former New York Mets and Yankees outfielder announced Monday, via The Players’ Tribune, that he is retiring after 20 seasons in the majors. And, like few of the greats, he gets to go out on top after helping the Houston Astros win their first World Series.

Beltran spent nearly half of his career playing for the Big Apple ballclubs, and his next step could be Cooperstown after he becomes Hall of Fame eligible in 2023. Here’s a look at his credentials.

Five-tool talent

In his prime, Beltran could do it all. As a centerfielder, he drove in more than 110 runs and earned three Gold Gloves for the Mets between 2006-08. He hit 30 or more homers four times, with a high of 41 in 2006, and finished with 435 in his career.

In the first stage of his career with the Kansas City Royals, for whom he won AL Rookie of the Year in 1999, he was an ace base stealer. He swiped at least 30 bases four times, and his 86.4 stolen base percentage ranks third all-time. He even stole 11 postseason bags without being caught.

Impressive longevity

All-Star appearances are a bit overrated, but Beltran’s nine selections in 20 years is impressive nonetheless. He remained productive even late in his career, making the All-Star team with the Yankees in 2016. That season, his third with the Bombers at age 39, he hit .304 with 22 homers before an Aug. 1 trade to the Texas Rangers.

Amazin’ years

Beltran’s Mets career got off to a slow start after signing with the team in 2005, but his aforementioned 2006-08 run was impressive. He finished fourth in the NL MVP race in 2006 as he led the team to Game 7 of the NLCS before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals. Some may still be sour that Beltran struck out looking to end the game, but he hit .296/.387/.667 with three homers in the series.

Because Beltran was a bit of a vagabond — he played for seven franchises — he only played more than three seasons for two teams: the Mets and Royals. His prime was in Queens, so his potential Hall plaque should depict a Mets cap.

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