Houston Astros: Carlos Beltran’s best career advice came from a golfer

Carlos Beltran of the Houston Astros (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Carlos Beltran of the Houston Astros (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros gave a tip of the cap to designated hitter Carlos Beltran, announcing his retirement after 20 seasons of service but one of the surprising quips he made was that his best career advice came from a golfer.

Yep, it’s true Houston Astros fans.  All of the swirling rumors of what do we do with Carlos Beltran if he decides that he still wants to keep playing has been put to rest.  It’s official — he has lent us some terrific words of retirement in the most touching manner that I’ve seen in some time.

Beltran posted a stunningly-amazing piece on the Player’s Tribune today where he said that the talented and effervescent Chi Chi Rodriguez gave him his best career advice.  Here’s what Rodriguez had to say and I encourage you read the entire piece if you haven’t done so already:

"“To be successful in life, Carlos, you have to surround yourself with successful people. You can’t be afraid to ask questions to those people that you look up to.”"

It’s a simple statement but coming from a person of Rodriguez’s stature, it carries a tremendous amount of weight and it rings true even in this day of age.  One has to remove the shackles of negativity and surround themselves with successful, positive people in order to prosper.

And did he ever.  He sought the advice from Barry Bonds first and then ballplayers like Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Bernie Williams, Carlos Delgado, Ivan Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter to name a few.

And then the rest was history…

It was 13 years ago when Beltran, in search of a fair payday, galloped into the sunset to the New York Mets to be rich beyond his dreams after signing a seven-year, $119 million contract.  His departure was abrupt and fans roasted him for years in regard to him leaving a team that went 92-70 and fell just slightly short against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS that same year.

In many fan’s eyes back then, he seemed to be just another hot name for a brief stop here to eventually get a windfall of cash elsewhere.  But that’s simply not the case.  Just shortly after he signed with the Houston Astros this season, he set the record straight indicating that he wanted to be here but the Houston Astros wouldn’t give him a “no-trade” clause.

You can certainly understand the fiscal sense as to why the Houston Astros had that stance.  We were absolutely loaded with talent — including two future Hall of Famers in Biggio and Bagwell — and with this team looking to contend for awhile, they didn’t want to commit all of that money to one player when they were trying to keep every aspect of the roster together for as long as they could.

So Beltran marched on up to Gotham and Houston Astros fans had every opportunity to boo him every time the Mets were in town — as well as the other five teams he played for through his career — when they didn’t know the actual story behind why he left H-Town in the first place.  The MLB is a business and players should conduct their transactions as such.

Beltran had emerged from the Manati municipality of Puerto Rico — the region that includes the San Juan metro area — where 46.2 percent of its citizens live below the poverty line with an average income of a little over $18,000 a year.  He had come a long way and I’m positive that he didn’t want squander this unique opportunity to ensure that he’s financially set for life.

And it got better for him.  He was within two games of a championship back in 2013 with the Cardinals in that World Series but no avail.  It was close but no cigar.  But it’s befitting that he came back to the place where his career ascent begun and it culminated appropriately with a ring and chapter in his baseball life history that many players would kill for.

I personally was for the move to sign him last winter because I knew that he still had just enough left in the tank to help this team win, if not by physical means, it was through the unchanging, revered mentality that seemed to be infectious throughout the clubhouse.

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He wasn’t an everyday player and rarely saw time in the outfield — with the Beltran glove funeral being an excellent touch to the team’s camaraderie this season — but he contributed in ways that you just can’t measure with a stat sheet.

Sure, a .231/.283/.383 with a .666 OPS slash line in a season normally will get you run out of town but with Beltran, it’s beneath and beyond that.  We know that he gave it everything he could to ensure he was doing his part to help this team.

His emotion, his speeches, the work that he has done with relief efforts from two separate hurricanes — affecting his own homeland as well as his adopted homeland — gets the utmost of my admiration.

And for that, I’m extremely proud and it was a privilege to have him here as a member of the Houston Astros.

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I wish him nothing but the absolute best as he decides what to do next.  I’m sure Dave Hudgens can use an extra hand on the staff to help this team be even better than ever before and Beltran would be a perfect fit.

We’ll have to see about that but until then, thank you Carlos for all that you’ve done.  See you in Cooperstown, hopefully with you donning an Astros cap.

Go Astros!