Carlos Beltran is a candidate to replace Mickey Callaway as the new manager of the Mets, with Beltran saying Sunday that he would "have to listen" if he were to be contacted about the opportunity.
While the 42-year-old could have a future in the Mets' dugout, he also left a huge mark as a player in Queens from 2005 to 2011, when he was arguably the best two-way player the Mets ever had.
Beltran retired after the 2017 season, finishing with a .279/.350/.486 triple slash to go along with 435 homers, 565 doubles, 312 stolen bases, and 1,587 RBI. During his prime, Beltran was also one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. Add it all up, and he has a great case for election to the Hall of Fame. So which cap would he want on his plaque?
"I can't say my time with the Mets was bad," Beltran told Nathalie Alonso of MLB.com, referring more to off the field stuff. "I played seven years with the New York Mets. If I were to get into the Hall of Fame, I have to consider the Mets as the team [for the plaque]. … I had my best years with the New York Mets. If people have that perspective, that's the perspective of the fan base. I established great friendships and great relationships when I was with the New York Mets."
The "perspective of the fan base" Beltran is referring to? If it's negative, most of it has to do with the fact that he took a called strike three from Adam Wainwright in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS at Shea Stadium with the bases loaded and the Mets down by two runs with two outs in the ninth inning.
Most fans don't hold the above against Beltran because the Mets wouldn't have been there if not for him.
Aside from the tired discussions about his Game 7 at-bat, there were a few other hiccups during Beltran's Mets career, including disagreement over a knee injury he eventually got surgery to repair.
But the main impact Beltran made on the Mets was as a tremendous player and clubhouse leader who took younger players under his wing. Because of that, his No. 15 should be retired by the franchise, along with a handful of others.
Circling back to the Hall of Fame question, it's been fair to argue that Beltran should go in as a Met. So it shouldn't be surprising that he appears to see it that way.
The bulk of Beltran's career was spent with the Royals and Mets, and here's how the numbers look:
Hit .287/.352/.483 with 123 HR, 156 doubles, 45 triples, 164 stolen bases, 516 RBI, and 546 runs in 795 games over seven seasons.
Hit .280/.369/.500 with 149 HR, 208 doubles, 17 triples, 100 stolen bases, 559 RBI, and 551 runs scored in 839 games over seven seasons.
Beltran will be eligible for election to the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2023.