HOUSTON — Carlos Beltran hasn’t used his glove in a game in more than two months.
So on Monday, the Houston Astros gathered around their teammate in center field and laid his mitt to rest, holding a mock funeral to send it off.
The silly ceremony was held at Minute Maid Park before batting practice prior to the AL West leaders’ game against Seattle. The Astros all wore black shirts to mark the occasion, except for Brian McCann, who donned a black robe to officiate the service.
As McCann spoke, the players formed a semicircle around him and knelt as the glove was placed in a shoe box and three faux tombstones that read “R.I.P.” were placed around it. Beltran captured the whole thing on cellphone video.
The 40-year-old Beltran has played 77 times this season, all but nine of them as a designated hitter. He hasn’t been in the field since May 16 in Miami.
Manager A.J. Hinch said the strong play of Marwin Gonzalez is the main reason Beltran hasn’t played the outfield for so long.
Even so, Hinch isn’t ruling out another appearance for Beltran.
“I’m not quite giving up on the glove, even though they’re burying it in the outfield,” Hinch said.
Beltran’s glove might have passed on, but his bat is still very much alive. The nine-time All-Star crushed a two-run shot to left field in the sixth inning Monday night to tie the game at 2. It was Beltran’s 12th home run of the season and first from the right side.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.