Adrian Freaking Beltre

I often wonder if Adrian Beltre always had this much fun playing baseball. In full disclosure, I knew very little of AB before he got to Texas. When I started covering the Rangers predominately in 2007, he was with the Mariners. I heard the name, knew the numbers, but that was about it. He spent one season in Boston, and then Jon Daniels made perhaps the best decision of his professional career.

I will never forget that press conference. I was asked to do a one-on-one interview with Beltre after his introduction. I was terrified. I have no idea why, but I was so intimidated by him. (Thank goodness he doesn’t know how to work the internet, so he will never read this). He was effusive in his praise for his former organizations, he was respectful of his former and soon-to-be teammates (one in particular—looking at you, MY), and he was genuinely happy to be a Texas Ranger.

I left that interview feeling as if we were best friends…BAHAHAHAHAHA! Truth: I was scared shitless of Adrian Beltre for at least two years. Honestly. It wasn’t his fault. He was always courteous and respectful and willing to do whatever was asked of him. But there was something about him that was intimidating…an aura that is difficult to describe. Fast forward seven years later, and now I know why.

<Insert cheesy instrumental music here>

Because he’s special. He gets it. He always knows what to say and do. He does all the little things that people don’t even realize he’s doing, but still they can feel the effects of those actions without even knowing he’s responsible for them. It’s like he’s a ninja sniper superhero! Not sure if that even makes sense, but it’s the best analogy I’ve got at this point?!?

I can’t remember exactly when I stopped being terrified of him, but it probably involved him yelling at me, which is the highest compliment in the baseball clubhouse world. And in the years since then I have marveled at him ( I know, so cheesy, but bear with me). Seeing how he goes about his work, cares for his family, his teammates, his job, this organization and its fan base, and does it all while playing at the most ridiculous level of baseball is something to behold.

I interviewed him for a Rangers Foundation event a couple of years ago, and it went something like this:

Me: Adrian, I tell people all the time that even if they don’t like baseball, they should come to a game, sit on the third base side and do nothing but watch you from the first pitch to the final out, and they’ll get their money’s worth. What do you think about that?

Adrian: I think you’re weird. Why would you say that?

<Crowd erupts in laughter, of course>

Me: Because it’s the truth.

And it is.

Beltre’s “on-deck-circle-dragging-ejection” this week was further proof of that. He’s dressed as a clubbie and shined shoes in the dugout while on the DL, he’s played patty cake on the base paths with opposing base runners, he’s danced in the batter’s box, and gone to one knee on a home run so many times it’s become his signature. All the while, he’s played this game and his position as the highest level possible…and doing it while having more fun than any human should be allowed.

So as Adrian Beltre closes in on 3,000 career hits—the most ever by a Dominican-born player—I would like to say thank you. Thank you for making the last seven years fun, regardless of score or outcome. Thank you for working your ass off for your team and your family. Thank you for setting the tone in that clubhouse. I will forever be grateful for all of it.

Me laughing hysterically at something Adrian Beltre has said.

19 thoughts on “Adrian Freaking Beltre

    1. Michelle Quintana

      He’s a great ball player, teammate, professional and above all else, he makes us smile. Even in the worst of games, he makes us smile. Love this man. When he retires, the tears, they will be a-flowing.

      Reply
  1. Brendan Farrell

    Emily Jones you are amazing and have had one of the most envious careers ever! You’ve interviewed some of the best ball players of our generation to walk the earth! Watching Adrian throughout his career from a fans perspective, he is by far the most fun, exciting, professional player in baseball and I’m so grateful I was able to witness and still witness his amazingness! Watching Griffey Jr, Henderson, Ozzie Smith growing up I’ve never seen anyone like Beltre. When he came to Texas the entire clubhouse attitude changed and they looked like boys playing a game they love but the insane competitiveness to win and through hard work got us to another WS! So proud to be a Rangers fan growing up through all the ups and downs of this team always sporting my Texas “T”. Thank you for this blog it brightened my entire day and brought a smile to my face. Thank you for everything you do Mrs. Jones! I hate when I tune in and your not in the crowd trying all the different ball fields foods hating but loving it or promoting fanaticism or almost getting hit with a line drive foul ball (which I never want to see happen) or getting sunflower seeds and gum thrown at you from the players because they love you or your magnificent post game interviews getting drenched with power aid! The Rangers most likely interviews are absolute gold. Your love for the team us fans can relate to and we love you for it! Keep doing what you do and can’t wait to witness that 38 year old looking like a 21 year old HOF BOUND ADRIAN 3K!! LET’S GO RANGERS!!

    Reply
  2. Candi Burleson

    Great Job on this piece. I loved it. Love Adrian Beltre. And love when you are covering the games. You are fair to all the players!

    Reply
  3. Laurel Yates

    I love Adrian Beltre. He became my favorite Ranger when my previous favorite, MY, left. Thank you so much for this post, it’s proof that my admiration is not misplaced!

    Reply
  4. Lorie Butts

    Emily, when I saw AB’s ejection the other night your interview with him is actually the FIRST thing I thought about. (the one where you told him that people should watch him from the third base side) He loves the game…. even after playing for so many years. You don’t see that very often and it’s so refreshing. I LOVE this piece!!! Thank you for sharing! <3

    Reply
  5. Troy Hinojosa

    Thanks for sharing. As always, you provide us (Rangers fans) with a unique look at/into the players that we wouldn’t have otherwise. I hope and pray that Rangers fans truly understand and appreciate the greatness we get to see at 3rd base, day in and day out. Thanks again for providing us just a tiny glimpse into the human side of the players we love to watch every night.

    Reply
  6. Josh

    Thanks for sharing this Emily. We fans love you so much for all you bring to us – things like this, where we get further insight and feel like we are part of the Rangers family. The whole Texas Rangers experience is better because of you. I have said for years that the liaison between the players and the fans is Emily Jones McCoy. I see them as people instead of as superhuman heroes and mythical gods, and that is because of you. Thank you Emily, and thank you Adrian Beltre. We are so fortunate to have you both.

    Reply
  7. Patty Zamora

    Great article ! I love my Texas Rangers and I LOVE Adrian Beltre ❤️. I also love and appreciate you and your view on all things . Keep doing what you’re doing Emily.

    Reply
  8. Mark Sadler

    Ms. Jones, thank you for this wonderful post on my birthday about one of my many favorite Rangers (Pudge is still #1). Shared it with my best baseball buddy, my 18 year old daughter, Hannalope.

    Reply
  9. Dayla Bradford

    Thank you, for this beautifully written article about Beltre. You have an ability to give a reader goosebumps thinking about this sport and the emotion it carries. I hope Beltre learns to use the internet; he deserves to read this incredible post. Thank you, again.

    Full disclosure: First time I’ve been on your site but it won’t be the last!

    Reply
  10. Fred Oliver

    Emily, thank you for this article on AB. My family has known you since our days in Plainview, when daughter Lindsay and you were in elementary together. You have been a blessing to the Rangers and the game. As a high school coach for 37 years, I appreciate people like you who report the good of people like Adrian.. He is truely a champion and a role model for all of us.
    Thanks,
    Coach Oliver

    Reply
  11. Sharon Maines

    Fabulous article! I love how you love your job and love those you work with! It’s also very obvious how much they care about you! You’re what’s right with the world!! ❤️

    Reply

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