It didn’t take long for the Hall of Fame talk to begin Monday once Carlos Beltran announced his retirement.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Brian Kenny of the MLB Network and Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated were among those saying Beltran should be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame when his name comes on the ballot.
Here’s the question: what cap should Beltran be wearing on his Hall of Fame plaque? Players don’t have a choice in the matter, although Greg Maddux was granted his wish at having no logo on his cap in 2014.
The Royals picked Beltran in the second round of the 1995 draft, and he made his major-league debut three seasons later. In parts of seven seasons, Beltran played in 795 games with the Royals and had 156 doubles, 45 triples, 164 stolen bases and 123 home runs. For that reason, it would make sense for Beltran’s plaque to have a Royals cap.
In his 20-year career, Beltran played the most games for the Mets. In seven seasons, he appeared in 839 games with 208 doubles, 17 triples, 100 stolen bases and 149 home runs.
You’d think that a Mets cap would be another good choice, but there’s one catch.
As Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post noted in 2015, Mets fans don’t particularly like Beltran. Late in a season that would end with a NL pennant, the Mets were playing host to the Yankees when Beltran was with the Bronx Bombers.
“When Beltran stepped to the plate Saturday afternoon, top of the first, two on and none out, a majority of 43,680 stood up and booed, same as they did when Beltran showed up as a Cardinal, same as they surely will do Sunday for each of his plate appearances,” wrote Vacarro, the former Kansas City Star columnist.
The reason for the vitriol for Beltran? He struck out with the bases loaded to end Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series. Adam Wainwright froze Beltran on a curveball and the Cardinals won 3-1.
So maybe it’s a no on the Mets cap.
Beltran found his greatest postseason success in 2004 with the Astros when he hit eight home runs in 12 games. But Beltran only played half of the 2004 season in Houston, where he finished his career as a part-time player and World Series champion in 2017.
The other teams Beltran has played for: the Cardinals, Yankees, Giants and Rangers.
Seems like the Royals could be the cap of choice, but what do you think? Should Beltran’s plaque have a Royals logo? Vote in our poll and leave a comment: