I’ve covered the Rangers for almost 20 years. There are two players that I have covered that I have the upmost respect for: Michael Young and Adrian Beltre.
Young played in the 2010 and 2011 World Series for Texas and retired without winning a ring.
I don’t want that same result for the future Hall of Famer Beltre. He doesn’t want it either. I asked him if he is still haunted by the Rangers Game 7 loss in St. Louis in 2011 and the third baseman said, “It was painful the way we ended. The way we lost is nothing I can recommend, even to my worst enemy.”
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The Rangers' leader is Beltre. There is no player more respected in the Texas clubhouse. He took over the role of captain from Young and has solidified his resume for the Hall of Fame with his play on the diamond.
A 2016 World Series championship would give Beltre the kind of legend status in DFW that Dirk Nowitzki secured when he lead the Mavericks to their first NBA title in June 2011.
During the Mavericks' run to the championship I saw a sense of determination from Nowitzki I had never seen from him before. At 37, Beltre is approaching this Rangers playoff run as if it may be his last.
“The window of opportunity for me ... for me there’s no tomorrow,” he said in the clubhouse to reporters. “ It’s not every day that you get a chance to be where we’re at right now.”
Armed with 95 wins and homefield advantage all the way to the World Series, Beltre is expecting a long October run. He said he feels like the Rangers have two aces with Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish.
The road to a championship begins Thursday in Arlington with Game 1 of the ALDS. According to MLB, the 2016 World Series will start Oct. 25 and a Game 7, if necessary, will be played on Nov. 2.
I hope Beltre can finally earn himself a championship ring by helping the Rangers secure their first World Series title in the next few weeks. He's a class act and deserves it.