Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman and former St. Louis Cardinal David Freese took to social media last week congratulating past teammate/mentor Carlos Beltran on winning his first World Series title in his twenty-year major league career.
Freese, the 2011 World Series MVP, penned a concise, yet sincere testimony on Instagram just days after the Houston Astros, Beltran’s team, clinched their first world championship in franchise history. The St. Louis native acknowledges in his post that Beltran is the best teammate he has ever had throughout his nine-year big league career. Freese attached an image to his statement displaying the then St. Louis teammates smiling and having fun in the batting cage, which perfectly solidifies Freese’s claim and appreciation for the two-time Silver Slugger winner.
People ask me who the best teammate I’ve ever had has been. A few are always brought up but never with more certainty than this guy. The time, knowledge, and care he gives to his teammates while handling such expectations throughout a tremendous career is unforgettable. Congrats Carlos on getting that ring! Very few deserve it like you do.
“The time, knowledge, and care he gives to his teammates while handling such expectations throughout a tremendous career is unforgettable,” Freese explains. “Congrats Carlos on getting that ring! Very few deserve it like you do.”
Beltran and Freese played together for two seasons (2012-2013) in the Gateway City. The Puerto Rican superstar helped fill the void as the club’s go-to veteran hitter once Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as a free agent. Beltran notched a .282 batting average, registered 181 RBIs, and hit 56 home runs (leading the team in that category twice) during two stellar All-Star campaigns donning a Redbird uniform. His hitting and leadership prowess guided the Cardinals to a National League Championship Series appearance in 2012 and a spot in the 2013 World Series.
Acquired by Houston in June 2004 to bolster their lineup towards a playoff run, Beltran proceeded to showcase a postseason hitting performance for the ages. The future nine-time All-Star hit eight home runs (tying the record for most home runs in a single postseason), batted .435, recorded 14 RBIs, and crossed the plate 21 times in 12 games played during the 2004 playoffs.
“I was talking to some people earlier this week on the 2004 postseason run,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said in an interview to KMOX Radio Monday, who was the organization’s Assistant General Manager for the club at that time. “… (Carlos) Beltran specifically might have been the greatest player on earth in that 30 days…”
In the NLCS against St. Louis, Beltran tallied one home run in the first four games of the series, but the Cardinals had the last laugh as they defeated Houston in seven games advancing to the World Series.
His second stint with Houston in 2017 saw him command a vital leadership role within the club alongside veteran ballplayers Brian McCann, Evan Gattis, and Josh Reddick. Beltran did manage to secure a .231 batting average, notching 14 home runs and 51 RBIs in 467 at-bats for Houston in regular season action.