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Beltre Punctuates Great Season

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Beltre Punctuates Great Season

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ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 24: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers hits a solo home run in the sixth inning during Game Five of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Take a moment, and take yourself back to the opening series of the season when the Texas Rangers swept the then-called "greatest team ever assembled" in the Boston Red Sox.

In the second game of that series in Arlington, Rangers fans were officially introduced to the club's biggest off-season acquisition when former Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre drilled a pitch over the wall for a grand slam en route to a 12-5 win over the Red Sox.

The love affair began on that night and despite some bumpy patches in the coming weeks, Adrian Beltre instantly put himself in the mix as a fan favorite and showed to be a great teammate.

Of course, putting up numbers helps the cause too, and Beltre definitely did that.

In 2011, he hit .296 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs despite missing more than a month before coming off the DL for one of the best September tears seen in quite some time.

Beltre also was a welcomed sight at third base, replacing the struggles fans had to witness in 2010 with Michael Young at the hot corner, and on Tuesday, Beltre was awarded his third-career Gold Glove award, becoming the first Rangers third baseman to win the honor since Buddy Bell. Yes, Buddy Bell.

Beltre came to Arlington with a stigma of being a contract-year player, dating back to his days with the Los Angeles Dodgers, then on to the Seattle Mariners, then on to his one-year deal with the Red Sox last season when he had a great season hitting at Fenway Park.

There was legitimate concern Beltre would underwhelm this season after getting his 5-year contract, but that was far from the truth.

Beltre has cemented himself in the Rangers lineup for years to come. Remember, just don't rub his head. He HATES it.

Related Topics Adrian Beltre, contract year
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