Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America's daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.
One of the game’s most underrated stars reached a Hall of Fame-clinching milestone.
With a fourth-inning double against Baltimore’s Wade Miley on Sunday, Adrian Beltre became the 31st member of the 3,000 hit club, and the first Dominican-born member. He was met by a host of teammates and his family as fireworks burst over Globe Life Park.
As it turns out, being a member of one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs was not the only honor Beltre received on Sunday. The Fort Worth Zoo named a baby giraffe in the Rangers’ third baseman’s honor.
Congrats Adrian Beltre on 3,000! In honor of this major milestone, we’re pleased to announce the name of our male giraffe calf – Beltre! pic.twitter.com/mG33jMqq5L
— Fort Worth Zoo (@FortWorthZoo) July 30, 2017
— MLB (@MLB) July 31, 2017
Players often use their Hall of Fame speeches as opportunities to thank mentors, or look back on some of their favorite moments in baseball. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, however, made sure to sacrifice some of his time on the mic to apologize to 2016 inductee Ken Griffey Jr. for a . . . rather interesting moment between Griffey Jr. and Rodriguez’ son from years back.
SETTLING IN NICELY
Just six days ago, Washington’s No. 1 prospect Victor Robles got the call to Double-A, after hitting .289 with seven home runs in high Class A. On Sunday against Portland, the 20-year-old continued to show why he’s one of baseball’s No. 8 overall prospect.
SO GOOD, HE HAD TO DO IT AGAIN (AND AGAIN)
From 2011-16, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen had at least 20 home runs each season. Coming into Sunday’s game against the Padres, the outfielder sat at 19 round-trippers. With three home runs in a 7-1 win, McCutchen ensured that his 20-home run streak reached seven seasons.
STEVE PEARCE DID WHAT?
Hitting a walk-off grand slam is quite the feat. In fact, it might be the most dramatic way to win a game—and it certainly doesn’t happen every day. So, naturally, Toronto’s Steve Pearce has done it twice in the past week. First came a walk-off slam against Oakland on Thursday. Then came another one on Sunday off of the Angels’ Bud Norris to cap a six-run ninth inning from the Blue Jays.
Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for—the non-waiver trade deadline. BA has you covered on every deal that goes down. Make sure to check in to see what your favorite team does in the final hours.