Beltré set for place in hall of fame
Fred Jeter | 2/1/2024, 6 p.m.
Ozzie Virgil opened the gates in 1956. Ever since, there has been a flood of stars who have reached the Major Leagues from the Dominican Republic.
Adrián Beltré surely made his mark on the game. The slugging third baseman has become the fifth Dominican to be selected for the Hall of Fame, following Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero and David Ortiz.
Playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle, Boston and Texas from 1998 to 2018, Beltré was a four-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove recipient and four-time Silver Slugger winner.
He finished with career totals of 477 home runs, 1,707 runs batted in and a .286 average. Beltré had 3,166 hits and ranked among baseball’s best defenders at third.
Beltré will be inducted into the Hall on July 23 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with Todd Helton and Joe Mauer.
The small Caribbean Island has produced a disproportionate number of players since Virgil’s arrival with the Giants. Virgil in 1958 also became the Detroit Tigers’ first Black Latino.
To start the 2023 MLB season, there were 100 Dominicans on opening-day rosters — about one sixth of all big leaguers.
The 2022 World Series champion Houston Astros started 2023 with the most Dominicans, eight.
Beltré ranks among baseball’s cheapest signing deals. As a 15-year-old he signed with the Dodgers in 1994 for $23,000.