As an All-Star center fielder, Carlos Beltran was among the best players the Mets ever had, but his time in Flushing is often remembered by missed opportunities. He struck out when the Mets were on the cusp of a trip to the World Series, and in two other seasons he was part of teams that blew golden chances to make the playoffs.

But Beltran still earned a reputation for his keen intellect, remarkable baseball savvy and steady professionalism, traits no doubt the Mets took into account in choosing him to be the team’s next manager.

The team announced Beltran’s hiring on Friday night, ending a search that began after Mickey Callaway was fired in October after a second consecutive year without making the playoffs. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Beltran, 42, will be the team’s first Latino manager.

Like many other managers recently hired in baseball, Beltran has no experience in the role. But he knows the Mets, for better or for worse.

He played seven seasons for the team from 2005 to 2011 after signing as a free agent, and during that time the Mets marketed themselves as Los Mets because many of their players, and Omar Minaya, their former general manager, were Latino. Minaya, now a special adviser for the Mets, and Allard Baird, another adviser who was the general manager of the Kansas City Royals when Beltran played there, were strong advocates for him.

Beltran earned a reputation as a quiet leader by example for the Mets, but was also criticized by some teammates for not being more vocal. Over the years, he began to assert himself more and commanded respect and even adoration throughout the clubhouse and across baseball, a reputation that only grew when he joined other teams later in his career. At every stop, teammates and coaches spoke of his talent — he was named an All-Star nine times — and incisive knowledge of the game.

When several teams began looking to fill their managerial vacancies after the regular season, Beltran, who also interviewed for the Yankees job in 2017, made it clear the only one he was interested in was the Mets.

Although he lives in New York, this position was surprising to some because Beltran had a falling out with Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer of the team, in January 2010, over Beltran’s decision to have knee surgery. The team opposed it and issued a public statement and Beltran was unhappy with the way the team handled it. That has since been smoothed over.

Beltran’s popularity among players will certainly be tested by his decisions on and off the field. But unlike Callaway, his experience as a top-flight player, and his ability to communicate easily with reporters, could earn him more leeway and respect.

While Beltran was one of the best players in baseball during his Mets years, many fans in New York still remember him for one of the more iconic, and painful, moments in the team’s recent history. Standing at the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series, Beltran struck out on three pitches against St. Louis reliever Adam Wainwright to end the series. The final pitch, a devastating curveball, caught him with the bat on his shoulder, sending the Cardinals to the World Series and the Mets home for the winter.

He was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler in 2011, then played for the Cardinals, the Yankees, the Texas Rangers, and retired from the Houston Astros in 2017. It was his second tenure in Houston, where he capped his 20th major-league season by finally winning a World Series. During his time there, he was so revered by teammates for his knowledge of the game that his role was almost that of a player-coach.

He has spent the last year as a special assistant to Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. He will take over the Mets despite having no previous experience in a managing or coaching role in the majors or the minor leagues. Callaway also had no previous managing experience when he was hired, nor did Willie Randolph, who managed the Mets from 2005-2008.

As a Yankees special assistant, Beltran wrote scouting reports and counseled young players. He is bilingual, making it easier for him to connect with Spanish-speaking players and ensure that messages are not lost in translation. Beltran was at the forefront of Major League Baseball’s initiative that every club have a full-time interpreters.

There are now five Latino managers in the M.L.B., the most since 2004, and about 30 percent of the players are Latino.

Beltran will inherit a talented, young group of players that includes the slugger Pete Alonso, who set the rookie home run record this past season, pitcher Jacob DeGrom, the 2018 Cy Young winner, and the versatile Jeff McNeil.

Callaway was fired days after the season ended after finishing 163-161 in his two years as manager. The Mets finished the 2019 season 86-76 and failed to make the playoffs for the 11th time in 13 seasons, despite a second-half resurgence.

Callaway had one season left in his three-year contract. This is the first manager hired by General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen since he took over in 2018.

Beltran will need to hire a bench coach as well as a new pitching coach after the team fired former coach Dave Eiland in June. Phil Regan, 82, served as the interim coach for the remainder of the season.

Eduardo Perez, an ESPN analyst and the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez, was the other finalist for the position. In a tweet, Perez thanked the Mets for the opportunity to interview for the position and showed support for Beltran.

James Wagner and Kevin Armstrong contributed reporting.

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