16 seasons, five teams and over 7,800 plate appearances later, Carlos Beltran has finally reached the World Series.
In his first full season at the Major League level, Beltran hit .293 with 22 home runs and 108 RBIs, en route to the American League Rookie of the Year Award with the Royals.
We should have known then that he would be something special.
Adding a veteran presence to a young Cardinals team, Beltran has emerged as one of the best postseason hitters of all-time. He is frequently mentioned with the likes of Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and other baseball immortals. Now, he has a chance to add the elusive World Series ring to his collection of accolades.
Despite being 36 years old, Beltran hit .296 this season for manager Mike Matheny, clubbing 24 home runs and driving in 84 runs. In the postseason, he delivered once again, adding two home runs and 12 RBIs in the first two rounds.
Needless to say, he is a major part of a St. Louis team whose pitching often dominates headlines.
With three days off, Beltran and the Cardinals will come into Boston for Game One with a mission. Win the organization’s 12th World Series title and help their clubhouse leader take a monkey off his back.