Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Beltran has retired at the age of 40.
In a piece titled "Muchas Gracias, Beisbol" and published by The Players' Tribune on Monday, the veteran announced that he will bring his career to an end after 20 Major League seasons.
"I am blessed to have played this game for 20 years. I am blessed to have played for so many great organizations," Beltran wrote. "I am blessed to have shared all of my experiences with my wife and my three kids, my family and friends. To have so many loving fans. To have been able to build a school in Puerto Rico and change the lives of so many kids. To have won the Roberto Clemente Award, which is the greatest honor I could have ever received as a ballplayer.
"And I am blessed to be a champion. But now, my time as a player has come to an end. Today, I am officially announcing my retirement. Muchas gracias, beisbol. I can’t wait for what the next chapter holds."
Beltran had stints with the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Yew York ankees and Texas Rangers throughout his career before signing a one-year deal in December to return to the Astros for what would be his final season. He capped his lengthy career with his — and Houston's — first-ever World Series win earlier this month as the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in a thrilling seven-game series.
"I had always dreamed about winning a championship, and I chased every opportunity to do so in my career. But I never thought that I needed to win a World Series to make my career complete," Beltran wrote. "Like I said before, I realized early on that my purpose in this game was to share knowledge with younger players and to give back to the game of baseball. I always wanted to do that — that, and be the best team-mate I could possibly be.
"Over 20 years, I feel like I accomplished that. So whether we won or lost Game 7, I would have still been happy with my career."
Beltran is a three-time Gold Glove winner, two-time Silver Slugger recipient and nine-time All-Star selection. The Puerto Rico native finishes his dynamic career with 2,725 hits, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBIs and a career .279 batting average — numbers that should put him in the mix for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.