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Carlos Beltrán

Carlos Ivan Beltran was born on April 24, 1977, in Manati, Puerto Rico. As a youngster Beltran excelled in sports, especially baseball and volleyball. His father encouraged him to give up the volleyball court in order to concentrate on baseball. Wilfredo told his son, but with baseball he had a chance to make a good living.

 

Carlos Beltran

In 1995, after graduating from Fernando Callejas High School in Puerto Rico, the eighteen-year-old was signed by the Kansas City Royals to play in their minor league on the Double A Wichita Wranglers. An awestruck Beltran spent that first year learning everything he could from the many veteran players around him. The next year, feeling a little more confident, Beltran decided to teach himself a few tricks. A natural right-handed hitter, the rookie trained to bat left-handed. Although it was a difficult task, and his batting average plummeted, Beltran felt the price was worth paying. He hoped that by becoming a switch-hitter, his move to the majors would be that much faster.

 

In September 1998, Beltran's hard work paid off when the Royals called him up from the minors. In his first shot at the big leagues. Despite a disappointing start, he showed up at spring training ready for action. Beltran impressed Kansas City manager Tony Muser so much with his determination that he was.


 

In addition to his salary, Beltran's contract came with a number of perks, including a hotel suite on all road trips, a fifteen-person luxury suite for all home games, and the lease of an ocular enhancer machine, a device that shoots colored tennis balls to batters at 150 miles per hour. But, for Beltran, the real draw was that his contract included a no-trade clause.


After moving from Kansas City to Houston, the young man was looking for some stability. "When I was in Kansas City, I was always worried about being traded for five years," he commented to ESPN. "When I was traded to Houston, it was not a good feeling. I didn't want to go through that anymore. I would not sign without a no-trade clause."