We all know Adrian Beltre is a Hall-of-Fame hitter and an elite fielder.
Now we’ve been reminded that he’s also one of the toughest players to ever don the bold Texas “T.”
We saw Beltre gutting through the ALDS against the Blue Jays with painful, debilitating back spasms and tightness.
He had a key hit in Game 1 when he could barely jog to 1st base. And, after missing two games, seemingly made a game-saving defensive play in the 7th inning of Game 5 when he aggressively fielded a bunt and made a perfect throw to 3rd base to cut down the lead runner, only to have Elvis Andrus promptly drop the ball.
We knew the 36-year-old was playing in pain most of the season after injuring his left thumb on a slide on May 31. He went on the disabled list for most of June, and when he came back the pain was so intense that he played pregame catch by trapping the ball on the outside of his glove to prevent direct contact with the thumb.
On Friday we learned just how severe the situation was as Beltre underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in the thumb. Despite playing the season with basically 1.5 hands, he hit .287 with 18 homers and 83 RBI. Most of us would have to give up the simple things in life like shaving or opening the pickle jar with a similar injury.
Beltre will be ready for Spring Training. To me he’s already on the Rangers’ all-time toughest team.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.