NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran heard mostly cheers from the Citi Field crowd when he was announced on Tuesday night at the MLB All-Star Game.
Beltran, of course, played for the Mets from 2005-2011. Though many unfortunately remember him for the called-strike three he took against Adam Wainwright in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series, the 36-year-old was one of the most productive outfielders in franchise history.
As he continues to accumulate impressive career statistics, it’s becoming a reality that he’ll be a legitimate candidate for the Hall of Fame five years after he hangs up his cleats.
He played in Kansas City from 1998-2004 before being traded to Houston. He then signed a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets in 2005, playing in Queens until 2011 when he was traded to the Giants for Zack Wheeler.
He’s been with the Cardinals for the past two seasons.
So if and when he gets the Hall call, which cap will he wear in Cooperstown?
“These are teams that I spent the most time with,” Beltran said in regard to the Royals and Mets. “I guess in Kansas City I spent like the same time, six-and-a-half years. Here six-and-a-half. But I think if you look at my numbers, I had better numbers with the Mets than the Royals.”
During Beltran’s tenure in Flushing, he hit .280, belted 149 home runs, drove in 559 runs and scored 551 runs. He also stole 100 bases — only getting caught 16 times — and posted a .369 on-base percentage, all the while playing a brilliant center field.
The 16-year veteran admitted that, even though he still has years in front of him, he’s thought about going into the Hall as a Met.
“It could be, I don’t know how that works,” Beltran said. “I don’t know how you choose that. But yeah, it could happen.”
Tom Seaver is the only player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Met, though Mike Piazza could become the second as soon as next year.
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