Beltran retires a champ after 20-year career –

The veteran outfielder, who officially announced his retirement Monday in an essay on The Players’ Tribune, told he reached the verdict to hang up his spikes sometime over the summer, never wavering from that choice during Houston’s memorable run.

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“At the beginning of this year, being in Houston while my family was in New York, it was the first time I’ve been away from my family for months,” Beltran said in his first interview since announcing his retirement. “I told [my wife] Jessica I really missed the family and I wanted to be with them, so I was really contemplating retirement after this year. I said, ‘Hopefully we can get to the World Series and win the World Series, so I can go home on a happy note.’

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“When the family came to Houston for the summer, I told Jessica, ‘This will be my last year for sure.’ I couldn’t be away from my family for such a long time anymore.”

Beltran got his storybook ending with the Astros’ Game 7 victory over the Dodgers, giving him that long-awaited championship that had eluded him for the better part of two decades. Beltran’s finest contribution was his clutch double in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the AL Division Series vs. the Red Sox, which helped Houston clinch the series.

Beltran’s RBI double

[email protected] Gm4: Beltran hits RBI double off the Monster

Carlos Beltran tattoos an RBI double high off the Green Monster, giving the Astros an insurance run in the 9th

What now for Beltran? He is

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