Adrián Beltré was one of three players voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, receiving votes on 95.1% of the ballots submitted by Baseball Writers Association of America voters.
Beltré batted .286 with a .819 OPS, 3,166 hits and 477 home runs in 21 major league seasons. However, one pitcher joked on social media that he may have helped contribute to Beltré’s Hall of Fame numbers more than any other, and that it should get him mentioned in Beltré’s induction speech at Cooperstown this July.
Dontrelle Willis faced Beltré for 11 plate appearances from 2003 to ’10 and couldn’t get the third baseman out. Beltré hit 8 for 10 against him with three doubles, one triple and a home run with four RBI. It’s safe to say Willis, known for his unique windup and leg kick, didn’t fool Beltré at all.
“I need to hear my name in his speech cause he is 9 for 10 off me with 8 doubles and HR,” Willis posted on X (formerly Twitter). “Good people.”
I need to hear my name in his speech cause he is 9 for 10 off me with 8 doubles and HR 🤣💯 good people https://t.co/Ctt3eJeXwb
— Dontrelle Willis (@DTrainMLB) January 23, 2024
Willis exaggerated how successful Beltré was against him–but only slightly. Despite his inability to get Beltré out, Willis–now a Fox Sports analyst–was one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball when the two faced each other from 2003 to ’05.
During the first three years of Willis’s career with the then-Florida Marlins, he won National League Rookie of the Year, made two All-Star appearances, notched a 22-win season (and finished second in NL Cy Young Award voting), and won a World Series championship.
Their careers obviously went in far different directions from there, but it’s assuring that Willis can joke about his lack of success against Beltré now. Perhaps the two will meet up to reminisce in Cooperstown this summer.