Carlos Beltran is considered to be one of the best playoff performers in MLB history, yet he’s never been to the World Series.
Beltran, a 16-year veteran, had been to the postseason three times before this year. Each time, he posted excellent individual numbers, but fell short of the Fall Classic. Now, the 36-year-old outfielder is finally in the big dance, and his Cardinals teammates are rallying around him.
“One thing that was really cool after we won the other day in St. Louis, Carlos’ wife came up to me and said, ‘Can I take a picture of you and Carlos?’ And I said ‘Yes.’ And she said, ‘Back then, it wasn’t in the Lord’s plan and now it is,’” Cardinals ace and Game 1 starter Adam Wainwright said Tuesday. “I’m getting chill bumps sharing that with you. It was such special to share right there at the end of that game. He’s playing 16, 17 years, he’s trying to get to the World Series for the first time. He’s been in three or four Game 7′s. He’s been so close, and to not get there, it’s really satisfying to get him there.”
Beltran, who has played for five different teams over the course of his career, is in the midst of his second season in St. Louis. The Cardinals fell to the Giants in the 2012 NLCS, marking the latest moment of October heartbreak for the eight-time All-Star.
Beltran enters the World Series with a career .337 average (55-for-163) in 45 postseason games. He owns an amazing .449 on-base percentage and 1.173 OPS in addition to 16 home runs and 37 RBIs. The individual statistics are among the best the game has ever seen, yet all of the production has come in rounds prior to the World Series.
It’s possible that Beltran has a few more playoff runs left in him after this season, but it’s unclear if they’ll come in St. Louis. Beltran is slated to become a free agent this winter, and there are rumors that there could be mutual interest between him and the Yankees. In fact, Wainwright has already had a strange dream involving Beltran and the Bronx Bombers.
“I actually had a dream — I told him this — I had a dream the day before that we lost, and we didn’t get to the World Series, and we weren’t the team to get him there,” Wainwright said. “And he ended up signing with the Yankees next year, and the Yankees took him to the World Series. And I remember the gist of the dream was he was sitting on a podium like this saying, ‘I’m so happy to be a Yankee and in the World Series.’ And I was like oh, my gosh. It was a nightmare.
“Not that that’s not a great team, but I woke up and had sweats, and said we’ve got to be the team to get him here. No disrespect to the Yankees in the world. I know what the media can do. I think the New York Yankees are an amazing franchise.”
Wainwright’s story was met with laughter, but clearly, the Cardinals would like to give their veteran right fielder the ring that he continues to seek — and probably deserves, based on his individual October accomplishments.