Adrian Beltre announces his retirement from baseball after 21-year career

Adrian Beltre has been tormenting pitchers for the better part of the last two decades, but after 21 years in Major League Baseball, he will torment them no more.

The 39-year-old third baseman and designated hitter announced his retirement on Tuesday morning via a statement the Texas Rangers released on his behalf.

Beltre will retire with a .286/.339/.480 lifetime triple slash, which includes 636 doubles, 38 triples, and 477 home runs. He was an All-Star four times, won four Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers. He never earned MVP honors, but was close a few times. He finished second in 2004, third in 2012, and has a trio of seventh-place finishes.

No active player in MLB has appeared in more contests than Beltre, whose 2933 games played rank 14th all-time. He was just 18 hits from passing Cal Ripkin Jr. (3184) and 154 hits away from knocking Paul Molitor out of the top ten all-time. Injuries slowed Beltre down a bit in recent years, but he recorded 153 hits in 2016, 161 in 2013 and 156 in 2012. 

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Adrian Beltre through his career
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Adrian Beltre through his career
24 Jun 1998: Adrian Beltre #26 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during an interleague game against the Anaheim Angels at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Angels 6-5.
ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 19: Adrian Beltre of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 19, 1998 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
28 Feb 2000: Infielder Adrian Beltre #29 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a studio portrait during Spring Training Photo Day in Vero Beach, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Los Angeles Dodger Adrian Beltre runs the bases, 17 September 2000, after hitting the first of his two homeruns during the game versus the Colorado Rockies at Dodger stadium in LA. The Dodgers beat the Rockies by a final of 12-6. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Scott NELSON/sn (Photo credit should read Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Los Angeles Dodgers' Adrian Beltre (R) checks that he is safe as he slides back into second ahead of the catch by Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Wilson after attempting a steal in the bottom of the sixth inning, in Los Angeles, CA, 06 August 2002. Pittsburgh won the game 3-1. AFP PHOTO/Lucy NICHOLSON (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers batter Marquis Grissom (9) heads for the dugout with teammate Mark Grudzielanek (L) and is congratulated by on-deck batter Adrian Beltre (R) after hitting a two-run home run off New York Mets pitcher Mark Guthrie in the eighth inning at Shea Stadium in New York, August 16, 2002. The runs proved to be the winner as the Dodgers won the game, 3-2. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS
The Dominican Republic's Adrian Beltre watches his two-run home run clear the fence in the fifth inning against Venezuela during their World Baseball Classic first round game in Kissimmee, Florida March 7, 2006. REUTERS/Steve Nesius
Dominican Republic's Adrian Beltre throws a ball to first base during their practice in preparation for their World Baseball Classic semi-final game in San Diego March 17, 2006. The Dominican Republic will meet Cuba in their semi-final game on Saturday. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
New York Yankees catcher Jose Molina (L) and Seattle Mariners batter Adrian Beltre point to the first base umpire as they ask for an appeal of a call in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York September 5, 2007. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
Florida Marlins catcher John Baker watches Boston Red Sox infielder Adrian Beltre (L) single off Marlins starter Chris Volstad during the third inning of a MLB spring training exhibition baseball game at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Florida, March 25, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Nesius (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Boston Red Sox Adrian Beltre is congratulated in the dugout by team mates after scoring second run of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto April 28, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Boston Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre walks off the field with his son AJ during batting practice before taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts August 21, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Boston Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre tags out Baltimore Orioles Felix Pie during the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts September 20, 2010. Umpire Tim Tschida (L) tries to stay out of the way. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre bats against the Boston Red Sox in the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Arlington, Texas April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees walks out of the batting cage before Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona July 12, 2011. Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers is at left. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (L) is showered by teammate Alexi Ogando in the locker room after their team defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 in their MLB American League Divisional Series baseball playoffs in St. Petersburg, Florida, October 4, 2011. REUTERS/Steve Nesius (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre takes part in practice a day prior to Game 3 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in Arlington, Texas, October 21, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Sharp (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (L), greets St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols (C) as Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz (R) looks on before the start of Game 2 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis, Missouri, October 20, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre hits a solo home run off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter in the sixth inning of Game 5 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in Arlington, Texas, October 24, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Texas Ranger third baseman Adrian Beltre throws out Detroit Tigers Austin Jackson at first base during the fifth inning of their MLB baseball game in Detroit, Michigan April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Texas Rangers Adrian Beltre (2nd R) hugs his teammate Elvis Andrus (2nd L) after Andrus drove in the winning runs to beat the Los Angeles Angels in the tenth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Arlington, Texas August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre stands in the batters box against the San Francisco Giants during their MLB Cactus League spring training baseball game in Surprise, Arizona, March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph D. Freso (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Mar 10, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) signs autographs prior to the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) gets high-fives from teammates after scoring in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Rangers won 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
May 15, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) celebrates in the dugout after hitting his 400th career home run during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) scores a run during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) fields a ground ball in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 10, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Ranger designated hitter Prince Fielder (left) pats the head of teammate Adrian Beltre (right) as he enters a press conference to announce the end of his 12-year playing career after his second neck surgery in 27 months at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) touches the head of third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) after Beltre hits a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 04: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers reacts after hitting his 600th career double in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 4, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
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Beltre spent his 21-year career playing for four teams. The Dominican Republic native made his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998 at age 19, and spent seven seasons with them. He next spent five years with the Seattle Mariners, and then one year with the Boston Red Sox before signing a deal with the Rangers, the team he’d call home for the rest of his career. He spent eight seasons playing in Arlington.

It was more than Beltre’s prodigious talent that won over legions of fans from all over baseball. His personality could never be tamed. There are hundreds of memorable Beltre moments from his long career, but his ejection for picking up and moving the on-deck circle in a July 2017 game is an all-time great baseball moment.

And of course, he’s famous for not wanting his head to be touched. Which meant that everyone was always trying to touch it.

Beltre is widely considered to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’ll turn 40 in April, which means he spent half his life playing baseball in the majors. Now with his retirement announced, he can do anything he wants. His fans, and the entire baseball world, will be eager to see what he does next.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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